Homeland Security Committee Passes DHS Authorization with Key Carper Amendments

Senator Carper secured language in the final bill to help combat the use of opioids and better address cyber threats

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, on which Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) serves as a senior Democrat, passed legislation to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The legislation approved by the Committee includes several key amendments offered by Senator Carper, including those that will help combat the use of synthetic opioids in our country and better address the cyber threats our nation is facing. Senator Carper was also able to work with his colleagues to remove a harmful provision that would have exempted the National Flood Insurance Program from the Endangered Species Act.  

“I have been serving on this Committee since I started in the Senate, and since that time, this Committee has always found ways to work together to get really important things done. With this authorization, the spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation that has long been the hallmark of this Committee is continuing. I thank both the Chairman and Ranking Member for their efforts and for working with me, and all of our members, to address our priorities in this modified version of the bill.

“Specifically, I thank both the Chairman and the Ranking Member and their staffs for working with me to include important reporting requirements regarding the Department’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and terrorism prevention efforts. I also want to thank you for including a real property amendment that will ensure that the DHS Headquarters Consolidation Project, which has been a year’s long effort to ensure that this critical Department is more than the sum of its parts, remains a priority for this administration. This bill also includes language to achieve a longstanding priority of mine, renaming and reorganizing the Department’s cybersecurity office in order to better address the ever-evolving cyber threats we face.

“I’m pleased that the amendments Senator Portman and I authored to combat the influx of synthetic opioids in our country have been included in the final package. Earlier this year, in our roles leading the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Senator Portman and I released a bipartisan report that showed just how easy it is to buy these deadly drugs online and have them shipped to the United States through our own mail system. These amendments we have offered today implement the recommendations from that report and help to address this crisis that is taking far too many lives each year.

“Finally, it is good news that language which would have waived part of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the National Flood Insurance Program has been taken out of this final package. The ESA not only offers a lifeline to species at risk of extinction, but also provides $1.6 trillion a year in economic benefits. I am appreciative that the Chairman and I were able to reach an agreement to remove the harmful ESA language included in the House version of this bill.

“I am hopeful that this bill, which is a truly bipartisan product, will provide a measure of needed certainty for the Department, and I look forward to continuing our oversight efforts in the coming year.”