Washington—Representatives Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security; Ted Deutch, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism; and Max Rose, Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, today introduced the National Commission on U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Act, legislation to establish a national commission to ensure that U.S. counterterrorism efforts are effective and balanced at a time when the U.S. faces a growing number of other security challenges and domestic priorities.
“Nearly two decades after the September 11 attacks, the terrorist threats facing our country have evolved. The time has come to take a hard look at our counterterrorism efforts in the context of the other national security threats faced by our country—ranging from climate change, to infectious disease, to growing challenges posed by other great powers.” said Rep. Engel. “The National Counterterrorism Commission will review our current efforts so we can adapt to this new security environment. I’m proud to join with my colleagues to introduce this critical initiative.”
“Our nation faces a more diverse and complex set of security threats than ever before. As we consider what the next generation of counterterrorism policies and strategies should look like, establishing a nonpartisan National Commission on U.S. Counterterrorism Policy will help us ensure that we learn from the recent past to inform future efforts. That includes appropriately prioritizing and allocating resources to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow—from the rapidly evolving landscape of domestic and international terrorism to profound shifts in geopolitical dynamics around the world—all while we fight to protect civil rights and civil liberties. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation, and I look forward to continuing to work with them on this important matter,” said Rep. Thompson.
“Terror threats against the United States look differently today than even 10 or 20 years ago. We need to stay ahead of the constantly evolving nature of these threats by reviewing and updating our counterterrorism strategies accordingly. This commission would study the current and future threats against the United States and recommend how best to keep Americans safe,” said Rep. Deutch
“In New York City, the threats terrorists pose are not hypothetical. Now more than ever, we’re seeing global terrorist networks and extremist groups using social media to recruit, radicalize, and plan attacks all around the world. We need to constantly be evolving and adapting our counterterrorism efforts to ensure we’re not only prepared for the threats of yesterday, but also the threats of today and tomorrow,” said Rep. Rose.
The National Commission on U.S. Counterterrorism Policy will:
· Serve as an independent legislative commission, comprising 12 counterterrorism experts appointed by House and Senate leadership;
· Assess how to adapt U.S. counterterrorism efforts to ensure they focus on the full range of domestic and international terrorism threats, and are appropriately balanced relative to the pursuit of other U.S. interests.
· Review the legal and policy frameworks for counterterrorism efforts and the instruments of national power used to achieve counterterrorism objectives.
· Consider the impact of counterterrorism efforts on civil rights and civil liberties in the United States and internationally recognized human rights abroad.
· Make recommendations on how best to adapt United States counterterrorism efforts to address existing and emerging terrorism threats in an era when the United States faces a growing number of other challenges abroad and at home.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.