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Friday, October 4, 2013

Issues in Homeland Security Policy for the 113th Congress

William L. Painter
Analyst in Emergency Management and Homeland Security Policy

With the 10
th anniversary of the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), many observers have made a fresh assessment of where America’s homeland security enterprise stands today. DHS is currently the third-largest department in the federal government, although it does not incorporate all of the homeland security functions at the federal level. The definition of homeland security remains unsettled, and questions about the effectiveness and efficiency of the department have been raised since it was first proposed. Evolution of America’s response to terrorist threats has continued under the leadership of different Administrations, Congresses, and in a shifting environment of public opinion.

This report outlines an array of homeland security issues that may come before the 113
th Congress. After a brief discussion of the overall homeland security budget, the report divides the specific issues into five broad categories:

• Counterterrorism and Security Management,

• Border Security and Trade,

• Immigration,

• Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery, and

• Departmental Management.

Each of those areas contains a survey of topics briefly analyzed by Congressional Research Service experts. The information included only scratches the surface on most of these issues. More detailed information can be obtained by consulting the CRS reports referenced herein, or by contacting the relevant CRS expert.

Date of Report: September 23, 2013
Number of Pages: 83
Order Number: R42985
Price: $29.95

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