Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Christopher Coons (D-DE) today introduced the Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act, legislation that would strengthen national security by coordinating strategy with foreign partners to identify and close loopholes in international airport security that could allow terrorists to travel undetected.
“In recent years, too many radicalized individuals have been able to travel back and forth without being detected or interdicted by authorities,” said Rubio. “This bipartisan legislation would address that vulnerability, enabling the United States, in cooperation with foreign partners, to close loopholes in international airport security, better track these terrorists, and prevent them from traveling internationally.”
“Bolstering other nations’ capabilities to identify, monitor, and arrest potential terrorists will improve the security of American citizens abroad and minimize the possibility of foreign fighters traveling to the United States,” said Coons. “Our bill is a proactive, low-cost, and quantifiable effort to improve American security and strengthen the borders of allies and partners.”
U.S. Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Michael McCaul (R-TX), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced the bill in the House.
The Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act would:
- Require the president to submit a plan to Congress within 180 days of enactment that catalogs ongoing initiatives and programs to enhance partner-country capacity to interdict terrorist and foreign fighter travel.
- Call on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department to accelerate the delivery of certain Customs and Border Protection and State Department security and screening systems to countries deemed to be of greatest risk and concern for terrorist and foreign fighter travel. Those countries will also be given priority to receive existing surplus nonlethal security screening equipment.
- Require the State Department, in coordination with DHS, to submit an annual report to Congress, terminating in 2022, that assesses partner-country efforts over the previous 12 months to meet minimum standards and identify areas for improvement.