Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 1, 2014

Posts in "Homeland Security"

August 18, 2014

Defense Philanthropy, Ukraine Vs. Russia in the Week Ahead

This is the slowest week event-wise of the August congressional recess so far, at least as it pertains to defense and national security. There are, however, a few items of note. Full story

August 15, 2014

Defense Industry Donations and the Alan Grayson Police Militarization Amendment

453575526 445x307 Defense Industry Donations and the Alan Grayson Police Militarization Amendment

A police officer watches over demonstrators protesting the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 13 in Ferguson. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

With images of heavily armed police confronting protesters in Ferguson, Mo., sparking a national debate about police militarization, a campaign finance research organization has released a study showing how much defense industry money House members got before a June 19 vote that rejected Rep. Alan Grayson’s amendment to block military equipment transfers to local law enforcement. The organization, MapLight, found that those who voted against it got 73 percent more in defense industry donations than those who voted in favor.

But there are probably bigger reasons for the vote going the way it did. And the issue could come up again in Congress — Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., promised Friday to review the program before his committee’s fiscal 2015 defense policy bill comes to the floor; Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., has put forward new legislation; and others are calling for hearings. So it’s worth reviewing the motivations for those votes.

Full story

August 11, 2014

World War I, National Security Agency and Iran in the Week Ahead

It’s a week that’s heavy in the middle with defense and national security-related events. Full story

July 30, 2014

Pentagon Liaisons to Hollywood Have Some Great Stories

92770170 445x296 Pentagon Liaisons to Hollywood Have Some Great Stories

Transformers robot Bumblebee tours Sydney harbour by barge to launch the DVD of “Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen” at Mrs Macquaries Chair in 2009. (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

“Top Gun,” a film about Navy pilots, did wonderful things for Air Force recruiting. Real-life submariners found “Crimson Tide” to be “laughable.” Those are just two of the anecdotes loading up this Al Jazeera America story on the collaboration between Hollywood and the Defense Department. Full story

July 25, 2014

Banana Terrorism Case Thrown Out

A seven-year legal battle to hold Chiquita responsible for killings in Colombia stemming from payments to a U.S.-labeled terrorist group might have come to an end late Thursday when a court dismissed a suit against the banana and produce giant. Full story

July 23, 2014

Border Task Force Boosts National Guard Role; Others Less Enthused

Treasury 05 042413 445x296 Border Task Force Boosts National Guard Role; Others Less Enthused

Granger at a hearing of her House Appropriations Committee State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs lat year. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

A House GOP border task forces recommended Wednesday that the National Guard be deployed to the southern border in response to a surge of unaccompanied minors entering the country, the same week Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced plans to use the Guard for just that. Others are less sure it’s the right answer. Full story

July 21, 2014

New Lawsuit, Legislation to Aid Iraqis, Afghans Who Helped U.S. in Wars

shaheen 158 022514 445x296 New Lawsuit, Legislation to Aid Iraqis, Afghans Who Helped U.S. in Wars

Shaheen arrives for the Senate Democrats’ policy lunch on Tuesday, Feb. 25. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There were two developments Monday meant to ensure visas for Afghans and Iraqis who helped the United States in wars in those countries: 1., the announcement of a lawsuit filed by an Iraqi who served as a translator but has been waiting more than two years on his visa; and 2. the introduction of a bipartisan bill to boost the number of Special Immigration Visas (SIVs) available to Afghan civilians who served in a similar role. Full story

Obama Adviser on Cybersecurity: Limit Cyber Capabilities, Regulate Sometimes

By the reckoning of a new report by the left-leaning Center for New American Security, we screwed it up from the start when designing the architecture of digital computing — security just wasn’t drawn into those original blueprints. Now we have to live with it. The report, helmed by Richard Danzig, a former Navy secretary who currently serves as a member of the Defense Policy Board and The President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, makes recommendations on how. Full story

Medal of Honor Recipient Ryan Pitts, 9/11 Commission, VA Secretary in the Week Ahead

Former Army Staff Sgt. Ryan J. Pitts will be at the White House on Monday to receive a Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama. His story is both heroic and a tale of missteps by superiors, as he fought to fend off a wave of insurgents in Afghanistan in a patrol base in the bloody Battle of Wanat, all while badly wounded by shrapnel himself. Obama is awarding more Medals of Honor to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans than his predecessor, but the process has become slower.

The week’s offerings also include a confirmation hearing for a new leader at the Department of Veterans Affairs, a review of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 Commission report and discussions on the cyber threat, the shape of U.S. Combatant Commands, Iraq and the Navy budget. Full story

July 18, 2014

After MH17, Senator Revives Commercial Airliner Anti-Missile Defense Idea

kirk008 011414 445x296 After MH17, Senator Revives Commercial Airliner Anti Missile Defense Idea

Kirk talks with reporters Jan. 14. after the Republican Senate luncheon in the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., told the Washington Post Friday that, in the aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 disaster and with shoulder-fired missiles proliferating in places like Libya in Iraq, he would press the Federal Aviation Administration to install anti-missile defenses on commercial airliners.

It probably won’t be an easy sell. Right after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the idea had some real momentum. But it eventually suffered a long, slow death over cost, reliability and need. Full story

June 27, 2014

Five Questions With Rob Zitz of Leidos, on Cybersecurity

Rob Zitz has worked on national security for 35 years, 32 of them in the intelligence community, and now is a senior vice president at Leidos, the company that split last year with SAIC. It’s a top contractor for the Defense Department with nearly $6 billion in annual revenue.

Zitz spoke with Five By Five in an interview Friday about cybersecurity and the Department of Homeland Security. (Leidos has a number of prime contracts with DHS, some of which are related to cybersecurity, and Zitz is a former DHS official himself.) Here are some highlights: Full story

June 23, 2014

Cybersecurity, Drones and the Marines in the Week Ahead

The schedule is too jam-packed to just highlight one or two events each day. Full story

June 19, 2014

The Quest to Protect the Newest Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

At the beginning of 2012, the head of the National Guard Bureau joined the Joint Chiefs of Staff over the objections of top Pentagon brass, in a move that amounted to a coup for the National Guard’s profile. This January, he started getting the same level of continuous physical protection and security afforded to the other leaders with access to the nation’s most sensitive military secrets — after it took two years to get the application and paperwork completed. Full story

No Plans for Canada Invasion, Pentagon Leader Says

dempsey 037 030514 445x296 No Plans for Canada Invasion, Pentagon Leader Says

Man without a plan: Dempsey testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on March 5. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Wednesday’s hearing of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee was informative on a great many serious subjects. It also revealed that the United States isn’t prepared to take aggressive action against its looming menace to the north, according to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Full story

Effort to Block Military Equipment for Local Police Stifled

grayson 055 040414 2 445x294 Effort to Block Military Equipment for Local Police Stifled

Grayson leaves the Capitol following the last vote of the week on April 4. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A New York Times story on the military giving equipment like grenade launchers and M-16s to local law enforcement caused a stir when the newspaper published it earlier this month. The American Civil Liberties Union has an ongoing project to detail such militarization.

On Wednesday evening, Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., offered an amendment on the House floor to block military-to-police transfers of specific equipment. It didn’t make it very far. Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...