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house Bill H.R. 4240

Studying and Improving the Terrorist Screening Database

Argument in favor

The Terrorist Screening Database has to be accurate to protect the U.S. It makes complete sense for Congress to require an independent study focused on improving the database.

BTSundra's Opinion
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01/26/2016
Although broad and general in terms of wording, ISIS is a huge threat, and we need as much power as possible to combat it.
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JebBush's Opinion
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02/03/2016
"There have not been any details about what the vetting process is… and so I think it's, I think it's proper to pause, to take the time to create the proper screening." [foxbusiness.com]
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Loraki's Opinion
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01/30/2016
Right now, I'm not having any warm, fuzzy feelings where the FBI is concerned, but on the surface, at least, this seems like a good bill. Of course, Obama's idea of who the real terrorists are doesn't always coincide with mine, but God willing, that will change after this next election. It's a crying shame when patriotic Americans can't stage a peaceful protest against an overreaching government, without being labeled "domestic terrorists"! I shudder to think of how a Clinton administration might use the FBI! My hope is that she gets sent to the Big House, rather than the White House. As far as radical Islamic terrorists are concerned, if you don't want them in America, close off ALL means of entry! And that means NO VISAS, NO RAPEFUGEES, and SECURING OUR BORDERS! WE NEED TO LEARN FROM EUROPE'S MISTAKES! Finland and Sweden are now expelling thousands of Muslims, and in France the LEOs are so overwhelmed by Muslim violence that vigilantes are taking to the streets to protect their neighborhoods!
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Argument opposed

This bill has 'too many cooks in the kitchen' written all over it. The FBI can manage it's own systems — Congress should stick to working on things that actually need fixing.

Alis's Opinion
···
01/23/2016
We are doing this as well as can be done without spending ENORMOUS amounts of $$$. Which conservatives are quick to tell us we do not have. So HELL NO!
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Steven's Opinion
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01/31/2016
This bill is is pandering to the constituents of the sponsors home state. Gaps in the database won't be fixed by studying them. Not every country has the same practices we do. People born here are usually born in a hospital and issued a social security number there is a paper trail on us from birth. In many of the country's that are sources for terrorists no such system exists people are born in villages or caves in the mountains. They have a given name and several family names. So one person of interest can answer to as many as seven names, and that's with no birth certificate or fingerprints or photo on file to match to all those names. We can't go to there country of origin and simply ask the hall of records to pull up any information they have on a person of interest to us because they don't keep any. And and a study to "improve" our system isn't going to change that. This is a waste of taxpayer money to give Texas thumb suckers a security blanket. Like calling up the national guard to defend against joint military exercises.
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Jake's Opinion
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01/26/2016
GAO's entire purpose is to cut expenses to redistribute funds. This bill's action items and vision don't align and this would only impede the FBI's ability to fight terrorism.
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What is House Bill H.R. 4240?

This bill would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to run a study on weaknesses in the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) — and assess how those vulnerabilities can be addressed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is in charge of administering the database.

The report would include information on the extent to which:

  • Information is being integrated into the TSDB from all relevant sources across the government in a timely manner;

  • Agencies are able to comply with increased demands for information to improve the TSDB;

  • The TSDB is accessible to agencies, authorities, and other entities;

  • The TSDB is capable of enabling users to identify known or suspected terrorists in the most timely and comprehensive manner possible.

This study would be delivered to the House and Senate judiciary committees within 18 months of this bill’s enactment.

Impact

International people trying to fly into the U.S., other airline passengers heading into the U.S., agencies using the TSDB, the FBI, and the GAO.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4240

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced this bill to ensure that the Terrorist Screening Database can keep foreign fighters and terrorists from traveling to the U.S.:

“By ensuring the mechanisms that keep foreign fighters and terrorists from traveling to America are strong and sound, the No Fly for Foreign Fighters Act will enhance America’s security and defenses.”

The House Judiciary Committee passed this legislation by voice vote.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Some money for Alex Kouts)

AKA

No Fly for Foreign Fighters Act

Official Title

To require an independent review of the operation and administration of the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and subsets of the TSDB, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed April 27th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedDecember 11th, 2015

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    Although broad and general in terms of wording, ISIS is a huge threat, and we need as much power as possible to combat it.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    We are doing this as well as can be done without spending ENORMOUS amounts of $$$. Which conservatives are quick to tell us we do not have. So HELL NO!
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    "There have not been any details about what the vetting process is… and so I think it's, I think it's proper to pause, to take the time to create the proper screening." [foxbusiness.com]
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill is is pandering to the constituents of the sponsors home state. Gaps in the database won't be fixed by studying them. Not every country has the same practices we do. People born here are usually born in a hospital and issued a social security number there is a paper trail on us from birth. In many of the country's that are sources for terrorists no such system exists people are born in villages or caves in the mountains. They have a given name and several family names. So one person of interest can answer to as many as seven names, and that's with no birth certificate or fingerprints or photo on file to match to all those names. We can't go to there country of origin and simply ask the hall of records to pull up any information they have on a person of interest to us because they don't keep any. And and a study to "improve" our system isn't going to change that. This is a waste of taxpayer money to give Texas thumb suckers a security blanket. Like calling up the national guard to defend against joint military exercises.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    GAO's entire purpose is to cut expenses to redistribute funds. This bill's action items and vision don't align and this would only impede the FBI's ability to fight terrorism.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    I would need more parameters before the evaluation of this broad question.
    Like (3)
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    Hold the FBI accountable for the database. That is part of their responsibilities. Why do we think an "independent" assessment is needed at the expense of taxpayers.
    Like (3)
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    Right now, I'm not having any warm, fuzzy feelings where the FBI is concerned, but on the surface, at least, this seems like a good bill. Of course, Obama's idea of who the real terrorists are doesn't always coincide with mine, but God willing, that will change after this next election. It's a crying shame when patriotic Americans can't stage a peaceful protest against an overreaching government, without being labeled "domestic terrorists"! I shudder to think of how a Clinton administration might use the FBI! My hope is that she gets sent to the Big House, rather than the White House. As far as radical Islamic terrorists are concerned, if you don't want them in America, close off ALL means of entry! And that means NO VISAS, NO RAPEFUGEES, and SECURING OUR BORDERS! WE NEED TO LEARN FROM EUROPE'S MISTAKES! Finland and Sweden are now expelling thousands of Muslims, and in France the LEOs are so overwhelmed by Muslim violence that vigilantes are taking to the streets to protect their neighborhoods!
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Delivering ANY report to the House & Senate is a waste of time & money since the results will only be acted upon if we can weed out the do-nothing partiers. ER...GOP. Let the FBI continue to administer the database. Stop acting like toddlers trying to stick your tongue out at the scary black man who got to sit in the big chair instead of you and start actually governing for the people and not your Corporate and billionaire owners.
    Like (2)
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    We need to improve the terrorism database in order to protect American lives. This study would provide ways to improve the current system.
    Like (1)
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    The FBI has admitted it is unable to screen everyone coming through our borders whom may be a terrorist. This helps with that.
    Like (1)
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    More laws will not increase Congresses knowledge on terrorism. The FBI knows their job. To many hands in the pot spoils the stew.
    Like (1)
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    Don't study it, improve it.
    Like (1)
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    Our current systems are outdated and underdeveloped. In order to promote a strong America we need to keep terrorists out.
    Like (1)
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    It's been over 15 years since 9/11 and we still have a week illegal immigrant vetting system. Now there are over 12 million illegal immigrants living on US soil that we can't even locate. For the past eight years, the current administration has done little to improve or financially invest not desiring to create a new, solid and technologically sound vetting format. ? Our next president and views on this process are critical. This is a top priority for the United States safety in every regard.
    Like (1)
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    Foreign residents, green card holders, & illegals are a good start for screening terrorists. Racial profiling works. The metadata system seems pretty tough to beat, without adding situational determinants that give certain races competitive advantage, we have the computer capacity to screen from a list of sex offenders, drug dealers, gun owners, and illeterates. The mental health issue is another basket of eggs, I will do my best to voice my opinion.
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    It has already been established that our government's ability to conduct thorough investigations upon citizens of other countries who wish to enter into the United States is woefully inadequate. Therefore, it is in the interest of national security for appropriate agencies within the federal government to take necessary measures in order to improve upon our ability to firmly establish eligibility for each and every non-citizen who wishes to enter into this country. In light of the terrorist threats we are facing, we must make every effort to maintain the safety and security of the American people and our national resources.
    Like (1)
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    So this is a bill to see vulnerabilities in a database that exist already.... Shouldn't we just keep it updated without having to waste time and money on passing more laws???
    Like (1)
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    Not another bureaucracy to monitor a bureaucracy! Make leadership positions accountable. Use existing controls. Don't waste my money.
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    Self-evaluation is key for efficiency. There is always room for improvement.
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