The House is Back in Session

Congressman Michael McCaul

Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Congress returns to Washington, D.C. for the second session of the 115th Congress, I am ready to hit the ground running and continue fighting for the people of Texas’ 10th district. Below you will find highlights from last week and the votes the U.S. House of Representatives will be taking this week.

Iranian Unrest
Even though Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) declared victory over several days of unrest by protesters on Sunday, signs of protest remain. The United States must stand behind the people of Iran, who no longer want to live as subjects to a corrupt, terror-supporting, backwards regime.

This is why, this week I plan on introducing legislation to sanction Iranian officials, and other entities, responsible for human rights abuses and hostage-taking. This legislation provides the Trump administration with the tools necessary to hold Iranian government officials responsible for human rights violations, corruption, or censorship. Moreover, it urges the administration to proactively deter the Iranian regime and officials from taking hostage American citizens or permanent residents by ensuring those who do so pay an extreme price.

Let me be clear, the United States is a friend of the Iranian people.  As such, this legislation heeds the public outcry in Iran.  They deserve a free, prosperous, and democratic society in which they again have a voice in the direction of their country.

Terror Threat Snapshot
I released January’s Terror Threat Snapshot, a monthly assessment of my Committee’s continuing effort to highlight the growing threat America, the West, and the world face from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists. Over the past year, we have seen the collapse of ISIS’ physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria. The group still has the capability, however, to conduct external operations, and the threat facing the United States and the West remains severe. In this new year, we must continue to work with our allies across the globe to crush ISIS fighters wherever they may be and defeat ISIS in cyberspace.

This month saw a spike in homegrown Islamist incidents with four arrests in the United States for providing material support to ISIS. Two of those arrested also offered to commit attacks on behalf of the organization. These arrests bring the total number of homegrown jihadist cases in the U.S. since 2013 to 150.

Click here or on the image below to view the full Terror Threat Snapshot for January.

FEMA Aid for Harvey Update
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that churches may apply for aid relating to disasters declared after August 23, 2017. I am glad to see that FEMA has decided to make the right decision. These churches, like the rest of our local communities, were devastated by the historic flooding brought by Hurricane Harvey.

You can click here to learn more.

Busiest Committee in 2017, Keeps Pace in 2018
After being recognized as the hardest working committee in 2017, my House Homeland Security Committee has hit the ground running in 2018. Tomorrow, a dozen of our bills will be voted on in the House. I know the importance of the work we do to ensure the men and women keeping us safe have the tools and authorities they need to get the job done.

Below are those bills:

  • H.R. 4577 – Domestic Explosives Detection Canine Capacity Building Act of 2017
  • H.R. 1486 – Securing American Non-Profit Organizations Against Terrorism Act of 2017
  • H.R. 4578 – Counter Terrorist Network Act
  • H.R. 4567 – DHS Overseas Personnel Enhancement Act of 2017
  • H.R. 4561 – SAFE TECH Act
  • H.R. 4559 – Global Aviation System Security Reform Act of 2017
  • H.R. 3202 – Cyber Vulnerability Disclosure Reporting Act
  • H.R. 4569 – Counterterrorism Information Sharing Improvement Act of 2017
  • H.R. 4555 – DHS Interagency Counterterrorism Task Force Act of 2017
  • H.R. 4564 – Post-Caliphate Threat Assessment Act of 2017
  • H.R. 4581 – Screening and Vetting Passenger Exchange Act of 2017
  • H.R. 4433 – Securing DHS Firearms Act of 2017

Legislative Update
Last week, Members were back at home for a District Work Period so there were no votes in the House.

This week, we are voting on a number of important bills. Below are a few you may be interested in:

  • H.Res. 676 – Supporting the rights of the people of Iran to free expression, condemning the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests, and for other purposes. This bill expresses a sense of Congress supporting the people of Iran that are engaged in legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive, corrupt regime.
  •  H.R. 535 – Taiwan Travel Act. This bill reaffirms Congressional support for the Taiwan Relations Act and declares that it should be U.S. policy to allow U.S. officials, including at the highest level, to travel to Taiwan to meet their counterparts, and allow Taiwanese officials to do the same with their U.S. counterparts in Washington.
  • H.R. 3320 – To direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization, and for other purposes. This bill requires updates to the State Department’s annual reports on the U.S. plan to endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan at the annual summit of the World Health Assembly.

I encourage you to visit my website, www.mccaul.house.gov, for more information on constituent services and legislative updates. Also, follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube to get the latest updates on my work in Washington and the 10th District of Texas. It continues to be a great honor to represent you in the United States House of Representatives.

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