Before leaving Washington for the holidays, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., teamed up with two Senate Democrats to introduce a bill that continues the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Counterterrorism Advisory Board (CTAB).
Rubio, U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., brought out the “Counterterrorism Advisory Board Authorization Act.” The proposal codifies the CTAB for another four years. The CTAB was launched in 2010. Rubio’s office praised the CTAB for leading to “better coordination and ongoing situational awareness for senior leadership” and for focusing on “recommendations about whether to issue a National Threat Alert System alert, and has aided in the response to aviation threats, border threats, homegrown violent extremists, and cyber threats.”
On Thursday, Rubio made the case for why the board is important.
"The Counterterrorism Advisory Board is an important component of the Department of Homeland Security’s work in preventing terrorist attacks by identifying and reducing security threats and vulnerabilities,” said Rubio. “This bill will ensure that the CTAB facilitates a cohesive operational strategy so that DHS components and their partners are best enabled to detect, deter and disrupt terrorist operations.”
“This bill is about ensuring that everyone inside the Department of Homeland Security committed to preventing and responding to terrorist incidents are able to communicate and coordinate effectively with each other,” said McCaskill. “The men and women heroically contributing to our counterterrorism efforts are the best in the world and this bill will augment their efforts.”
“The Department of Homeland Security is tasked with preventing terrorist attacks on our homeland, and we must ensure that the full resources of the Department and the entire federal government are coordinated in focusing on this critical mission,” said Hassan. “I call on members of both parties to support this bipartisan bill that will help ensure coordination of the Department’s counter-terrorism operations and keep our communities safe.”
A similar bill was filed at the start of the year by U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-NY. The House passed Katko’s bill at the end of January.