Campaign Promises

Departments -> Homeland Security -> Homeland Security General

ItemHomeland Security
Homeland Security GeneralGrade
HS-19 The Promise: "...the President and Congress should direct our precious homeland security dollars according to risk, not as a form of general revenue sharing."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win," dated 07/31/07.
Status:There is specific mention of "risk" in the President's FY2010 Homeland Security budget proposal such as the following entry: "Risk-based exercise assistance grants will assist state, local and tribal partners in offsetting costs of critical homeland security activities...".

In the FY2011 budget proposal for Homeland Security: "...funding of $1.1 billion for the Urban Area Security Initiative will direct resources to the metropolitan vicinities with the highest threats based on a risk management methodology."

From the FY2012 Homeland Security budget proposal: "...the Budget proposes the elimination of six stove-piped and duplicative stand-alone grant programs, consolidating them into broader State or local grants that are awarded based on risk."

Examples in the FY2016 DHS budget state in part: (1) "The Budget enables TSA to maintain its steadfast focus on maturing into a high-performing counterterrorism organization that applies intelligence-driven, risk-based security (RBS) principles across all operations." (2) Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) strengthens communities' resilience to disasters through risk analysis, risk reduction, and risk insurance.

There are numerous other references substantiating the view that taxpayer dollars were being appropriated and spent largely based on the implementation of risk management practices by DHS.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-20 The Promise: "...will develop a meaningful critical infrastructure protection plan across the nation..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win," dated 07/31/07.
Status:The CY2009 National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) superceded the CY2006 version and met the requirements set forth in Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7) entitled "Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization and Protection".

On 02/12/13, President Obama signed Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21) entitled "Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience." At the same time, he issued Executive Order 13636, entitled "Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity."

PPD-21 articulated the following strategic imperative designed to "drive the Federal approach to strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience:...Refine and clarify functional relationships across the Federal Government to advance the national unity of effort to strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience."

PPD-21 led to the release of an updated National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP 2013) on 12/20/13, entitled "Partnering for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience." This Plan outlined how government and private sector participants in the critical infrastructure community are to cooperate to manage risks and achieve security and resilience outcomes.

NIPP 2013 provides the overarching approach for integrating the nation's many Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) protection initiatives into a single national effort.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-21 The Promise: "...will work with the private sector to ensure that all real targets are prepared for disasters both natural and man-made."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win," dated 07/31/07.
Status:This promise was made in reference to the ineffectiveness of the National Asset Database (NADB) which contained information on over 77,000 individual assets ranging from dams, hazardous materials sites and nuclear power plants to local festivals and sporting goods stores. According to a 07/16/07 Congressional Research Service report to Congress, the database was reportedly being used inappropriately as the basis upon which federal resources, including infrastructure protection grants, were being allocated.

Efforts to revamp the NADB and morph it into a new "Infrastructure Information Collection Program- IICP" were addressed in the updated National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP 2009), released to the public on 06/28/10. The IICP would have a repository that contained quantitative, asset-specific risk data for the assets within the 17 critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) sectors.

NIPP 2009 addressed a "common plan and unifying structure for the government and private sector to prevent, deter, neutralize, or mitigate deliberate attempts to destroy, incapacitate, or exploit critical infrastructure and key resources." These are words from the original Bush Administration NIPP of CY2006. What was new in the Obama Administration update to NIPP 2006 was a focus on the preparedness of: chemical facilities; sports arenas and stadiums; "soft targets" such as retail and lodging facilities; critical manufacturing sector; attention to the resilience and preparedness of dams; levee security; and nuclear facilities.

On 02/12/13, President Obama signed Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21) entitled "Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience." PPD-21 led to the release of The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP 2013) on 12/20/13, entitled "Partnering for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience." NIPP 2013 was developed, in part, through a collaborative process that included the active participation of private industry; public and private sector owners and operators; state, local, tribal, and territorial government agencies; non-governmental organizations; and other entities/government agencies.

NIPP 2013 made no mention of either the IICP or the CIKR sectors, but nonetheless updated the listing of facilities/targets to be protected from natural and man-made disasters. These include: chemical facilities; commercial facilities; communications; critical manufacturing; dams; defense industrial base; emergency services; energy sector; financial services; food and agriculture; government facilities; health care and public health; information technology; nuclear reactors, materials, and waste; transportation systems; and water and wastewater systems.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-22 The Promise: "I'll give an annual 'State of the World' address to the American people in which I lay out our national security policy."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Speech entitled "A New Beginning," Chicago, IL, 10/02/07.
Status:By law, the President must deliver an annual "State of the Union" address to a joint session of Congress and to the American people. A "State of the World" address on national security policy is not mandated by law.

After two terms in office, President Obama failed to live up to this "annual" address promise.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-23 The Promise: "Obama is committed ... to increasing federal resources and logistic support to local emergency planning efforts."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:Under President Obama, the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) annual allocations focused predominantly on three areas to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other threats:
(1) State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) to support the implementation of risk-driven, capabilities-based State Homeland Security Strategies to address capability targets. States are required to dedicate 25% of SHSP funds to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.
(2) Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) to enhance regional preparedness and capabilities in 29 high-threat, high-density areas. States and Urban Areas are required to dedicate 25% of UASI funds to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.
(3) Operation Stonegarden (OPSG) to enhance cooperation and coordination among local, tribal, territorial, state and federal law enforcement agencies to jointly enhance security along the United States land and water borders.

Here's how the three grant programs fared while President Obama was in office. It should be noted that Operation Stonegarden was not funded until FY2010 and that the Citizen Corps Program (CCP) and Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) were no longer funded as grant programs within HSGP after FY2011. Starting with the last budget signed by President Bush (FY2009) as a comparative baseline (in $million):

Except for the short-lived and relatively minor uptick noted for FY2010, when viewed against the baseline established under his predecessor's presidency, a sustained increase in federal resources (i.e. funding) did not occur during President Obama's tenure.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-24 The Promise: "...will create a National Catastrophe Insurance Reserve that would be funded by private insurers contributing a portion of the premiums they collect from policyholders...With this program in place, disaster victims would no longer have to depend solely on taxpayerfunded federal disaster aid loans."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast and Preventing Future Catastrophes", dated 09/11/08.
Status:When President Obama assumed office in CY2009, insurers were not allowed the option of establishing tax-deferred, pre-event reserves to fund catastrophe losses. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) prohibited the use of catastrophe reserves for future events. U.S. companies were only permitted to set aside loss reserves for events that had already occurred. State regulators generally endorsed the idea of letting insurers set up catastrophe reserves, but accounting and tax provisions to make it worthwhile to insurers had not been enacted.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), insurance companies should be allowed to set aside, on an objective formulaic basis, some portion of the premiums paid by the policyholders into a reserve for future catastrophic events. This ability would require a modification of the U.S. Tax Code to allow insurers to establish pre-event reserves on a tax-deferred basis.

Initiatives in this direction had been introduced during the George W. Bush Administration by Representatives Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) on 01/04/07 under the Homeowners Insurance Protection Act of 2007 (H.R. 91). This was a comprehensive catastrophic insurance bill that would have established a federal reinsurance catastrophic fund as a federal backstop for future natural disasters. The bill called for all cost savings achieved through the legislation to be passed along to the consumer, and not kept as corporate profits.

Additionally, the Section 9 of H.R. 91 created Catastrophic Capital Reserve Funds; essentially tax deferred savings accounts that could be used by private insurance companies to help offset the costs of catastrophic events. Nothing happened with this bill.

During the Obama Administration, the CY2007 bill was again introduced by Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL) on 01/14/13 as the Homeowners Insurance Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 240). It contained the same Section 9 (Catastrophic Capital Reserve Funds) with the same provisions as H.R. 91 of seven years prior. This bill did not go far and died when the 113th Congress expired at the end of CY2014.

As of end-CY2016, there was no known "National Catastrophe Insurance Reserve."

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-25 The Promise: "Even though recent attacks have happened on public transit in Madrid, Mumbai and London, the Bush administration has invested only a small fraction of the $6 billion that transportation officials have said is necessary to implement needed security improvements. Barack Obama believes that this critical hole in our homeland security network must be addressed."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 02/08.
Status:The Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) was funded at the level of $348.6M in FY2009 under the President George W. Bush Administration. The trend during subsequent years under President Obama was as follows:

Other funds to ensure transit security and made available predominantly through grant programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security are as follows: Intercity Passenger Rail (IPR); Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG); Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP); Port Security Grant Program (PSGP); Freight Rail Security Grant Program (FRSGP); Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP); Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP); and National Special Security Event (NSSE) Grant Program. Combined, the level of funding for these grant programs under President Obama was as follows (not all of the programs identified above were funded each year):

The combined total of the above two listings amounts to $5.215B, short of the $6B stated in this promise as the goal to be met to meet the nation's transit security needs.

This promise was not fulfilled.
HS-26 The Promise: "Protect our Energy Infrastructure...will prioritize security investments in our refineries and pipelines and power grids."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:ELECTRICITY GRID: The nation's electricity grid can be disrupted for prolonged periods by a number of man-caused events, like physical assaults, power surges, cyber warfare, or high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (EMP) caused by the detonation of a nuclear weapon outside the atmosphere above the United States. Such events could disable or destroy key parts of the power grid, prompting the cascading collapse of every one of the other critical infrastructures that assure the availability of water, food, medicine, finance, transportation, telecommunications, etc.

President Obama recognized the need for additional funds to ensure power grid security. Page 24 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 authorizes $4.5B " modernize the electric grid to include demand responsive equipment, enhance security..."

On 03/26/14, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) introduced the "Grid Reliability and Infrastructure Defense (GRID) Act" (H.R. 4298). This bill sought to amend the Federal Power Act to protect the bulk-power system and electric infrastructure critical to the defense of the USA against cybersecurity, physical, and other threats and vulnerabilities. Electric utilities opposed the GRID Act. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) said the bill would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) too much power over utilities. This bill died when the 113th Congress expired at the end of CY2014.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced the "Terrorism Prevention and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2015" (H.R. 85) on 01/06/15. This bill would codify the objective of Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21) entitled "Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience" signed by President Obama on 02/12/13. Enhanced electricity grid security measures are addressed in H.R. 85, which has not progressed beyond initial committee review as of 11/16. This bill expire with the 114th Congress at the end of CY2016.

PIPELINES: President Obama addressed the need to improve security of the nation's 2.6M miles of pipelines by proposing to support "a more robust, rigorous, and data-driven pipeline safety program to ensure the highest level of safety for America's pipeline system" in his FY2013 and FY2014 budget proposals.

Under the aegis of his FY2014 and FY2015 budget proposals, President Obama announced the creation of a "Pipeline Safety Reform (PSR) initiative" for a three-year program to increase pipeline inspection personnel, modernize pipeline data collection and analysis, and improve federal investigation of pipeline accidents.

On 06/22/16, President Obama signed the "Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016 (S. 2276) to renew the federal government's pipeline safety program and give regulators new emergency authorities. This bill reauthorized the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) oil and gas pipeline programs through FY2019.

REFINERIES: On 12/19/2014, President Obama signed the "Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015" (H.R. 4681). An integral part of that bill (Section 326) requires the Department of Homeland Security to conduct an intelligence assessment of the security of domestic oil refineries and related rail transportation, submitting to appropriate intelligence committees within 180 days from the Act's signature (1) the results of the assessment; and (2) any recommendations with respect to intelligence sharing or intelligence collection to improve the security of domestic oil refineries and related rail transportation infrastructure to protect the communities surrounding such refineries or such infrastructure from potential harm.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-27 The Promise: "We have to put resources where our infrastructure is most vulnerable. That means tough and permanent standards for securing our chemical plants."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Speech entitled "The War We Need to Win", Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., dated 08/01/07.
Status:On 12/18/14, President Obama signed into law the "Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014" (the "CFATS Act of 2014"), which recodified and reauthorized the CFATS program through CY2018 for the nation's 4,569 chemical facilities regulated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Initially authorized by Congress in CY2007, the program uses a dynamic multi-tiered risk assessment process and requires facilities identified as high-risk to meet and maintain performance-based security standards appropriate to the facilities and the risks they pose. DHS chemical security inspectors work in all 50 states to help ensure facilities have security measures in place to meet CFATS requirements.

DHS has a chemical plant ranking system from 1 through 4 where 1 is the highest risk and 4 is the lowest. The new bill established an "Expedited Approval Program," which could allow chemical facilities in Tiers 3 and 4 to move to an approved Site Security Plan (SSP) more quickly.

Based on current DHS documentation, "performance standards are particularly appropriate in a security context because they provide individual facilities the flexibility to address their unique security challenges. Using performance standards rather than prescriptive standards also helps to increase the overall security of the sector by varying the security practices used by different chemical facilities. Security measures that differ from facility to facility mean that each presents a new and unique problem for an adversary to solve."

The risk-based performance standards established by DHS and to be met by chemical facilities pertain to: (1) Restricted-Area Perimeter; (2) Secure Site Assets; (3) Screen and Control Access; (4) Deter, Detect, and Delay; (5) Shipping, Receipt, and Storage; (6) Theft and Diversion; (7) Sabotage; (8) Cyber; (9) Response (10) Monitoring; (11) Training; (12) Personnel Surety; (13) Elevated Threats; (14) Specific Threats, Vulnerabilities, or Risks; (15) Report of Significant Security Incidents; (16) Significant Security Incidents; (17) Officials and Organizations; and (18) Records.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-28 The Promise: "...will fight for greater information-sharing between national intelligence agents and local officials and provide local law enforcement agencies with the everyday tools they need to protect their transportation systems."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 02/08.
Status:On 08/18/10, President Obama issued Executive Order 13549 entitled "Classified National Security Information Program for State, Local, Tribal and Private Sector (SLTPS) Entities." This order established an SLTPS Policy Advisory Committee to "recommend changes to policies and procedures that are designed to remove undue impediments to the sharing of information..."

Prior to CY2010, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) analysts had to manually search for and integrate information from multiple DHS and Intelligence Community (IC) databases. In CY2012, the creation of a new Counterterrorism Data Layer (CTDL) automated this process in a single data collection environment.

In addition, DHS introduced a pilot intelligence information networking and collaboration tool called "Homeland Space" (HSpace) in 03/12 to support analysts in the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information environment.

On 02/10/15, the White House announced the formation of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC). Operating under the Office of the DNI, the CTIIC works like the NCTC to amalgamate threat information in a single place and disseminate it to those who need it, including law enforcement. The CTIIC is not an intelligence gathering institution. Rather, it serves to analyze, integrate and share intelligence information already collected. Much of this sharing is done through Fusion Centers found in each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The above reflects improvement of intelligence information sharing, not only between federal agencies/departments, but also at the local law enforcement level to protect all aspects of American life, including the country's transportation systems.

This promise was fulfilled.
HS-29 The Promise: "...will work to ensure intellectual property is protected in foreign markets, and promote greater cooperation on international standards that allow our technologies to compete everywhere."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Connecting and Empowering All Americans Through Technology and Innovation" dated 11/13/07.
Status:On 06/22/10, the Director of Homeland Security and Vice President Biden announced the Administration's Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property (IPR) Enforcement, prepared by the Office of Management and Budget's Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC). This is a multi-agency effort (Commerce, Agriculture, Health & Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, State, and others) to enhance intellectual property protection by strengthening efforts to combat civil and criminal violations of trademark and copyright infringement.

The plan calls for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) to serve as the focal point to bring the efforts of the following contributing organizations under one roof: the departments listed above, ICE, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the FBI, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the GSA Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, and the Government of Mexico Tax and Revenue Service.

In the first half of CY2010 alone, the IPR Center's efforts reportedly resulted in 166 criminal arrests, 56 indictments, 34 convictions, and 1,078 seizures valued at more than $358M.

On 05/11/11, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and others introduced the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) (S. 968) to prevent online threats to economic creativity and theft of intellectual property. On the House side, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and others introduced the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) (H.R. 3261) on 10/26/11 to combat the theft of copyrighted intellectual property. Both PIPA and SOPA received pushback from search engine advocates, as they were perceived as a form of censorship of internet content that could negatively affect social networks and other legitimate sites. Consequently both bills were shelved on 01/20/12 and expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

On 10/01/11, the United States signed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreements (ACTA) along with 22 European Union (EU) member states. This resulted in widespread protests across Europe. Chapter 2 of the ACTA spells out the conditions under which signatories agree to enforce intellectual property rights. The full European Parliament voted on the issue on 07/04/12 and declined consent to ACTA, essentially rejecting it. The reasoning for this rejection was that ACTA was intended, among other things, to cover infringements of copyright through internet use.

Once ACTA has been ratified by six signatories, its implementation will take effect. As of end-CY2016, it had only been ratified by Japan and was therefore not in force.

Regardless of the above contretemps related to ACTA, this promise was fulfilled.