Nextgov: Senate-Passed Bill to Hack DHS Heads to House Floor

Nextgov: Senate-Passed Bill to Hack DHS Heads to House Floor

By Joseph Marks

The House Homeland Security Committee forwarded two bills Thursday to make it easier for ethical hackers to share computer vulnerabilities they find in Homeland Security Department websites.

The first bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., would direct Homeland Security officials to create a vulnerability disclosure policy. That policy would describe which department websites, hackers can legally probe for vulnerabilities, how they can alert the department about those vulnerabilities and when and how the department will respond to and remediate the vulnerabilities.

Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen told lawmakers in April that the department already plans to adopt such a policy, but the department has not made progress since then, Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., said during Thursday’s markup.

The second bill, which has already been passed by the full Senate, would go a step further, requiring Homeland Security to create a formal program, known as a bug bounty, that would solicit vulnerability reports from hackers and pay them for vulnerabilities that checked out.

The Hack the Department of Homeland Security bill, sponsored by Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. in the Senate, is partly modeled on numerous successful bug bounty programs at the Pentagon and military services.

The bill would mark the first departmentwide bug bounty in the civilian government. The General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service also runs an ongoing a bug bounty.

Those Defense Department bug bounties required a lot of time and money, however, and some bug bounty organizers have warned that a full bug bounty may not be a good investment for civilian agencies—especially if they lacks the resources to investigate and patch all the bugs ethical hackers uncover.

Homeland Security’s top cybersecurity and infrastructure security official Chris Krebs initially expressed skepticism about a department bug bounty, worrying it could steal resources from other parts of the department’s cyber mission. He later endorsed the plan, however, during his confirmation hearing.

ProJo: Our Turn: Jim Langevin and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson: Closing the skills gap is bipartisan affair

ProJo: Our Turn: Jim Langevin and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson: Closing the skills gap is bipartisan affair

By Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA)

Bipartisanship isn’t dead. In fact, it just experienced a significant victory.

Though we come from opposite sides of the aisle, we successfully worked together as co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus to overhaul the law responsible for much of our nation’s career and technical education system.

The Perkins Act, which is the primary federal funding source for career and technical education programs, had not been reauthorized in over a decade, and it was clear there was a strong need to better align what is taught in the classroom with the skills businesses need today.

This long-overdue reauthorization bill, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, passed Congress unanimously and was signed into law by President Trump on Aug. 1. It ensures businesses have more input in classroom curricula so students are learning in-demand skills for the workplace. It also expands student access to apprenticeships, while increasing career and technical education investment by $100 million over the next five years.

Career and technical education was once known as “vocational education,” which, for many people, evokes memories of shop classes for students who weren’t “cut out” for college. The vocational education of yesteryear was regarded by many as a plan B for students. But that is not the career and technical education of today, which is not a fallback option, but a pathway that appeals to students of all abilities.

Today’s programs prepare students for college and high-skill, high-paying careers. They teach core academic and job-specific technical skills while incorporating the use of communication, teamwork, problem solving and other “soft skills” that are highly valued by employers and lead to better outcomes when students enter the workforce.

In addition to classroom instruction, career and technical education provides hands-on learning using advanced equipment like 3D printers and medical simulators, and it creates opportunities to participate in on-the-job training in leading local businesses. Nearly 12 million students were enrolled in high school and postsecondary classes in the 2016-2017 school year, and this number is growing.

We need to be rid of the stigma that surrounded vocational education once and for all and embrace today’s career and technical education programs. These programs engage students, allow them to explore different career paths, and prepare them for today’s workplace. They also fill a dire economic need: they build a skilled workforce.

When we travel across Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, we hear the same thing from businesses — they can’t find qualified workers to fill open positions. Nationally, 46 percent of employers cite difficulty finding skilled talent, and more than 80 percent of manufacturers report that worker shortages impact their ability to meet customer demand.

Career and technical education helps close this skills gap, driving economic growth and yielding big returns on investment for state economies. But this can only happen when students are learning relevant skills for in-demand jobs, when education and industry are aligned through partnerships across secondary and postsecondary schools.

Our bill puts these partnerships front and center, bringing stakeholders from local businesses and schools to the table. It ensures career and technical education programs are adequately preparing students not only for college, but also for career success and providing them with work-based learning opportunities. It strengthens federal investment in career and technical education programs, allowing students and businesses to thrive.

Our colleagues in Congress agreed this was an important bill. Despite our ideological differences, we found common ground on the necessity of modernizing these programs, on updating an old law to create new pathways of success for our constituents.

Yes, political rhetoric can be nasty at times, but we can work together when we put our minds to it; we did it with career and technical education, and we were proud to lead that effort.

Now it’s time to implement the law, and even more importantly, it’s time to move this spirit of bipartisanship forward — to find other policy areas where we can work together to expand opportunities for the American people.

Jim Langevin is a Democratic U.S. representative from Rhode Island. Glenn “GT” Thompson is a Republican U.S. representative from Pennsylvania.

ProJo: $2M grant to establish Zero Suicide initiative in Southern R.I.

ProJo: $2M grant to establish Zero Suicide initiative in Southern R.I.

By G. Wayne Miller

RICHMOND, R.I. — Already a leader in mental-health awareness and services, the South County Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds collaborative has received $2 million in federal funding aimed at reducing suicides. The funding was announced Monday at Harvest Acres Farm, whose owners, Cindy and John Duncan, lost their teenage daughter to suicide.

The funding will enable the collaborative to establish its “Zero Suicide in Washington County” initiative, described by the state Department of Health and three members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation in a joint statement as a “wide-ranging program for health care providers across the region to screen for the warning signs of suicide and provide vital services to further assess and care for those at risk of suicide.”

Dr. Robert Harrison, director of the project, described it as “both a system and a culture change [and] also the most effective program proven to drastically reduce suicides in health care systems for the initiative. Yale New Haven Health/Westerly Hospital is proud to collaborate with South County Health and every other major health care organization in the region to prevent the most preventable death — suicide — in Washington County.”

Among other significant efforts, South County Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds has joined the international Mental Health First Aid effort, which now includes the University of Rhode Island, whose provost, Donald H. DeHayes, sits on the collaborative’s board.

“We can mount this program in South County because of the strength of South County Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, a collaboration of healthcare providers, the school systems, URI, our community action agency, business partners and many other social service agencies,” said South County Health president and CEO Lou Giancola.

The $2 million in funding will flow from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“This initiative is a comprehensive approach that has brought in advocates and family members who have been impacted by suicide to bring help, hope, and light to those in need who are going through a dark time,” said Senator Jack Reed.

Said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: “Making sure health care professionals have the training and resources to lend care and support to those fighting depression and thoughts of suicide will go a long way toward getting us to zero suicides.”

Added U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, whose district includes South County, “Suicide is preventable, and we need to do all we can to save these lives.”

While providing direct services and raising funds for mental-health causes and awareness, Harvest Acres Farm also memorializes Cassie Duncan, who lost her life to suicide during the Christmas 2005 holidays. Fourteen years old and an artist, Cassie had not shared what she was experiencing.

“It’s absolutely incredible how far we have come,” Cindy said in May, as Harvest Acres marked yet another expansion of its programming. “It’s a true blessing. Cassie and God are smiling and I couldn’t be happier.”

South County now joins a growing movement to reduce suicide. In May, Butler Hospital announced its own Zero Suicide initiative.

Cyber Scoop: House passes deterrence bill that would call out nation-state hackers

Cyber Scoop: House passes deterrence bill that would call out nation-state hackers

By Sean Lyngaas

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bipartisan bill aimed at deterring foreign governments from conducting hacking operations against U.S. critical infrastructure.

The Cyber Deterrence and Response Act put forth by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., calls on the president to identify individuals and organizations engaged in state-sponsored hacking that significantly threatens U.S. interests, and then to impose one or more of a slew of sanctions on them.

That “naming and shaming” approach is an effort to ward off future cyberattacks from China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea — four countries that U.S. officials routinely label as top adversaries in cyberspace.

The bill, which passed the House by voice vote, also calls for a uniform list of foreign hacking groups to be published on the Federal Register. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., last month introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

“Our foreign adversaries have developed sophisticated cyber capabilities that disrupt our networks, threaten our critical infrastructure, harm our economy, and undermine our elections,” Yoho said in a statement. “Collectively, we must do more to combat this digital menace.”

Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, said the bill is an “important step forward in recognizing that cyberthreats are the new weapon of choice for states who seek to sow discord and engage in conflict below the threshold of war.”

Lawmakers have long urged the executive branch to delineate a cyber deterrence strategy after high-profile breaches of the Office of Personnel Management in 2015 and the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

In response to the demand for a deterrence strategy, the State Department in May recommended that the U.S. government develop a broader set of consequences that can be imposed on adversaries to deter cyberattacks.

Washington should work with allies to inflict “swift, costly, and transparent consequences” on foreign governments that use “significant” malicious cyber activity to harm U.S. interests, the unclassified version of the State Department report says.

Officials such as Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen have touted the administration’s efforts to crack down on foreign hackers. “[T]his administration is replacing complacency with consequences, replacing nations’ deniability with accountability,” Nielsen said in a speech Wednesday.

Inside Cybersecurity: Rep. Langevin: Restructuring cyber oversight a top priority for Democrats

Inside Cybersecurity: Rep. Langevin: Restructuring cyber oversight a top priority for Democrats

By Charlie Mitchell

Streamlining congressional oversight of cybersecurity policy, creating a high-level “cyber director” role at the White House and — of course — closer scrutiny of Trump administration cyber efforts will top the priority list if Democrats take the House in November, according to one key Democratic lawmaker.

“We haven’t moved the ball enough on [cyber] oversight,” Rep. James Langevin (D-RI) told Inside Cybersecurity. “It needs to happen faster and more comprehensively.”

Langevin is the co-founder of the bipartisan Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and a senior member of the Armed Services and Homeland Security committees.

He is in line to chair Armed Services’ cyber-focused emerging threats subcommittee if the Democrats get the net 24-seat pickup they need on Election Day to secure a House majority.  Nonpartisan analyses and the latest polling aggregations show the Democrats poised to make the necessary gains.

But within the House’s current committee structure, Langevin said, “oversight of cybersecurity is too stove-piped — the jurisdictional issue is a problem and we need to streamline.”

What’s the problem? “Jurisdiction, jurisdiction, jurisdiction,” Langevin said. “It’s a major roadblock to legislation and oversight.”

With eighty-plus committees and subcommittees exercising authority over myriad cyber issues, “we need more agility in oversight,” Langevin said. “That takes strong leadership at the speaker and minority leader level. I hope we’re in the majority and can streamline oversight. That will be one of my top priorities.”

Otherwise, the ninth-term lawmaker said, “the only thing that moves the needle on cyber is a crisis.”

On other issues, Langevin cited the upcoming one-year anniversary of the Equifax hack in calling for action on data security and breach notice legislation, such as the bill he has introduced that would require notification to consumers within 30 days of detecting a breach and give the Federal Trade Commission statutory authority for “coordinating responses” to cyber attacks.

“There hasn’t been enough done to prevent future Equifaxes from happening or to notify consumers” of breaches, he said.

Langevin said that he will also push for a “Senate-confirmed cyber director role with budget authority, at the White House.”

“There needs to be one person who is responsible and accountable for what the policy is and what the metrics are for success.”

Such a position would have significantly more authority than the White House cyber coordinator role that President Trump eliminated earlier this year — and that was a creation of the Obama administration that lacked statutory authority.

Langevin likened the position he envisions — and has detailed in legislation introduced in the past two Congresses — to the Director of National Intelligence or the Director of National Drug Control Policy.

Langevin also discussed the new National Risk Management Center that the Department of Homeland Security has launched, calling it “a positive step forward” and saying he is “looking forward to hearing from them.”

“We need to make sure they have the tools they need and that the [National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center] is more operational in real time. But the risk management center could have real value,” he said.

Still, Langevin said, “we need to get better at assuring interagency coordination. The primacy of DHS is important, which is why enactment of NPPD reorganization is essential.”

Bipartisan legislation has cleared the House that would transform NPPD into a cybersecurity agency, but it remains stalled in the Senate, a source of bipartisan frustration among House members.

“Organizing and making clear the mission of NPPD is important, but we also need to know who is coordinating the whole-of-government strategy,” Langevin said, underscoring the need for a high-level policy director.

The lawmaker also expressed concerns that not enough has been done to secure state elections systems amid ongoing hostile action from Russia.

“We’re going into the elections with just a Band-Aid,” he said. “Time is short now but I’m concerned about DHS having enough resources to deal with states an localities, and to protect other critical infrastructure.”

With concerns lingering about proper state and federal role son election security, he added: “I encourage states to reach out for assistance — the federal government is never going to take over the electoral process.”

Cyber Scoop: DHS supply chain and CDM bills pass the House

Cyber Scoop: DHS supply chain and CDM bills pass the House

By Zaid Shoorbajee

The House passed two bills Tuesday that aim to bolster the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity efforts as they relate to securing the agency’s own vendor supply chain as well as securing other federal agencies’ networks.

Both bills now head to the Senate. One of them, the Securing the Homeland Security Supply Chain Act of 2018, would give the secretary of Homeland Security authority to block IT vendors deemed to pose a supply chain risk from contracting with the agency.

“There is no question that nation-states and criminal actors are constantly trying to exploit U.S. government and private sector systems to steal information or insert potentially harmful hardware or software,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., on the House floor before a voice vote.

King cited recent and ongoing U.S. government scrutiny of Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab and Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE as justification for giving DHS this new authority. Those efforts “underscore the threats posed to the federal supply chain and the urgency in developing stronger mechanisms to secure it,” King said.

The bill as passed would only allow DHS to make these decisions for its own contracts.

“I am hopeful, this bill moves through the process, that we will also have an opportunity to consider legislation that provides similar authority to ensure national security vetting is incorporated into the wider government procurement process,” King said.

The other bill, the Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act, would codify into law DHS’s existing Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program, which provides other federal agencies with monitoring and threat detection on their networks.

“We need to know what we have before we can try to defend it,” said Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, who introduced the bill. “[CDM] not only allows the ability to combat our enemies in cyberspace, but also to help federal CIOs manage information technology.”

DHS has been awarding billions of dollars worth of contracts to keep CDM’s various phases going. The bill passed Tuesday would make the program statutorily part of DHS.

Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., also spoke in support of the CDM bill on the House floor, but expressed concern that the bill does not incentivize agencies to actually take advantage of the DHS program.

“This is a good bill, and I urge my colleagues to support its passage. However, I must take this opportunity to mention this bill’s major omission. It does not address the incentive structure at other agencies to actually adopt CDM offerings,” Langevin said.

Langevin lamented that CDM full potential is being hindered by the fact that there are many congressional committees and federal agencies that compete over jurisdiction of cybersecurity issues.

“During hearings and roundtables on the program, we often heard from government stakeholders that internal dynamics at DHS’s sister agencies were actually the biggest obstacle to the program’s success,” Langevin said. “I urge my colleagues to consider the wisdom of having so many committees involved with cybersecurity jurisdiction often to the detriment of making real progress.”

NavSea News: NUWC Newport hosts Advanced Naval Technology Exercise

NavSea News: NUWC Newport hosts Advanced Naval Technology Exercise

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. — The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport hosted the 2018 Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) Human Machine Interaction (HMI 18) Aug. 30-31 at its Narragansett Bay Test Facility (NBTF).

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman James Langevin both visited the exercise and spoke to assembled dignitaries and participants on Aug. 30.

“Anyone who operates underwater can appreciate new technology that has enabled remotely operated vehicles to be so much more powerful and capable, whether it is computers or communications or planning systems,” said Whitehouse.

Langevin added, “ANTX showcases the importance of partnerships between Navy, academia, and industry in driving American innovation, which in turn enables our technological superiority on the battlefield. I can think of no better way to present technology development and innovative maritime systems – these are several things the Ocean State is very good at.”

Additional speakers included Senior Executive Service (SES) member Ron Vien, division technical director at NUWC Newport; Capt. Michael Coughlin, NUWC Newport’s commanding officer; Rear Adm. John Tammen, the Navy’s director of undersea warfare, and Dr. William Burnett, SES, deputy commander and technical director to the Commander Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC) in Stennis, Mississippi. CNMOC was one of the government partners at ANTX HMI 18.

“We’re expanding the overarching goals of ANTX: collaboration, innovation, and fleet feedback,” said Vien.

ANTX is an annual multi-day event originally created by NUWC Division Newport to demonstrate future Navy technologies in action today. Naval warfare centers, universities and industry partners were invited to showcase their latest unmanned systems and related technologies. ANTX provided a low-risk environment in which scientists and engineers evaluated their technological innovations at the research and development level before they become militarized and integrated at the operational level thus providing a glimpse of tomorrow’s technologies.

ANTX HMI 18 was the largest ANTX event hosted at NUWC Newport in terms of the number of participants, vehicles, and technologies since the exercise series began in 2015. This exercise involved more than 55 participants from industry, academia and government as well as fleet personnel who provided critical feedback to participants

Consistent with the human machine interaction theme, participants identified science and technologies that enable or achieve coordinated detection, localization, tracking and/or targeting for undersea, surface and air environments. With this focus in mind, the exercise explored ways in which these technologies enable human trust in machines to support operational decision making.

“It is critical to develop a wide array of weapons and sensors to overmatch our adversaries,” Langevin said, “UUVs present a variety of opportunities to protect our naval assets and project power and gather information and conduct operations in conjunction with the traditional fleet all over the world.”

“I look forward to ANTX every year. I’m so excited about what has been accomplished so far and the prospects for ANTX in the years ahead,” said Whitehouse. “This is a growth part, not just for the defense sector, but for the technology of our country. I want to make sure Newport stays at the forefront of it.”

NUWC Division Newport, part of NAVSEA, is one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. NUWC Division Newport’s mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures. NUWC’s other division is located in Keyport, Washington.

Warwick Post: Congressional Delegation Wins $633K for new WFD Rescue

Warwick Post: Congressional Delegation Wins $633K for new WFD Rescue

By Rob Borkowski

WARWICK, RI  — Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation announced  the Warwick Fire Department will receive a $633,789 grant for a new rescue truck, part of $1,113,758 in federal funding awarded to the city, Little Compton, North Kingstown, and Woonsocket.

On Thursday, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced the grants for Warwick’s new truck and to help North Kingstown, Little Compton, and Woonsocket fire departments upgrade essential equipment.

The federal funds were awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, according to an announcement from Sen. Jack Reed’s office.  AFG grants are designed to supply critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary to protect local communities.  Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation helped include a total of $350 million for AFG firefighter equipment grants in the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations law.

The WFD will purchase a new, tandem-axle heavy duty rescue vehicle that will replace a dated, 26-year-old medium duty model that responded to over 1,600 incidents in 2016 alone.  The new heavy duty vehicle will help firefighters with extrications, large vehicle stabilization, Advanced Life Support (ALS) medical response, surface and shoreline water rescue, rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue and structural firefighting.

The North Kingstown Fire Department will use its $268,605 grant to replace its outdated Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) currently in use by firefighters.  The purchase includes new SCBA units, SCBA bottles, and face pieces.  The equipment will be used by firefighters during emergency response situations to ensure safe breathing amid fires and other situations involving toxic air quality.

The Little Compton Fire Department is receiving a regional $211,364 grant alongside the Woonsocket Fire Department to purchase new power cots, which are battery operated stretchers capable of lifting very heavy patients, incorporated with a hydraulic lift system that loads/unloads the power cot from the ambulance.  The goal of the purchase is to reduce injuries to the department’s firefighter/EMTs, increase the safety of patients by decreasing cot drop incidents, and enhance the department’s operability throughout the region.

“It is critical that our firefighters possess quality tools that are suitable to meet the grueling demands of their profession,” said Langevin, a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, which oversees the AFG program. “These highly competitive federal grants will help protect the health and safety of our first responders and the communities they serve.”

“I am very grateful to Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressman Langevin for their hard work to secure us the funding for this very necessary apparatus,” said Warwick Mayor Joseph J. Solomon.  “The safety and well-being of all who live and work in our community and who travel through Warwick each year is of paramount importance to me and our public safety officials.  This heavy-duty rescue vehicle will further ensure that we are able to respond to any crisis quickly and effectively. We are very fortunate to have a Congressional delegation that advocates so strongly for Rhode Island’s emergency responders and work tirelessly for our communities. I look forward to their continued support in the future for similar efforts to assure the ongoing safety of T.F. Green International Airport’s travelers and our community overall. ”

“Our emergency responders deserve access to the best equipment possible so they can do their jobs safely and effectively. This funding will not only benefit our firefighters, but all Rhode Islanders,”  said Cicilline.

“These federal funds will help enhance public safety, improve emergency response capabilities, and provide our firefighters with the resources and equipment they need,” said Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee that oversees FEMA funding.  “I am grateful to our firefighters for the life-saving work they do and I will continue working hard at the federal level to support them and help them get the job done safely and effectively.”

“These grants will help equip our first responders with cutting-edge gear to do their job safely and effectively,” said Whitehouse.  “We’re grateful for everything they do to keep our communities safe.”

Warwick Post: Langevin Presents Medals To Seven Veterans Including Warwick’s DePetrillo

Warwick Post: Langevin Presents Medals To Seven Veterans Including Warwick’s DePetrillo

By Rob Borkowski

WEST WARWICK  — Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), hosted a military medals presentation and veterans town hall meeting at VFW Post 449 in West Warwick Tuesday at noon, honoring seven veterans with medals for their service decades after the conflicts they helped fight ended, including Paul DePetrillo of Warwick, a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War.

Langevin presented DePetrillo, 69, a Specialist Fourth Grade in the U.S. Army, Korean Defense,  with five medals:  Army Achievement Medal with Bronze Star Attachment; National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Expert Badge and Rifle Bar and Korea Defense Service Medal.

“It is a great honor to commemorate these Rhode Island veterans who have served with distinction and  integrity and dedicated so much to the safety and security of our nation,” said Langevin.  “One of my most important duties as a member of Congress is providing our service members and veterans with the support and recognition they deserve. I look forward to concluding my August listening tour with this mission in mind.”

Langevin also presented medals to six other veterans, four posthumously:

  • Private Adolf Ciummo, U.S. Army, WWII (Awarded Posthumously) Born on October 24, 1917 in Natick, RI
  • Corporal Frank Diana, U.S. Army, WWII (Awarded Posthumously) Born on September 20, 1912 in Providence, RI
  • Private First Class Carmine D. DiPippo, WWII U.S. Army (Awarded Posthumously)
Born on May 17, 1921 in Cranston, RI
  • Coxswain Axel Harold Halvarson, U.S. Navy, WWII (Awarded Posthumously)
Born on April 28, 1919 in Providence, RI
  • Sergeant John Boehnert, U.S. Army, Vietnam
, Born on Jan. 20, 1949 in Chicago, IL (resides in East Greenwich, RI)

The event is the first of several visits focused on military and veterans issues that Langevin is holding on Aug. 28 and Aug. 30 as part of the Langevin Listening Tour, an initiative Langevin has led through the August congressional district work period to collect feedback and gain insight from constituents.

“Rhode Island has a proud history of producing heroes,” said Kasin J. Yarn, the Director of Veteran’s Affairs for the State of Rhode Island. “Tomorrow’s ceremony is just another illustration of that. I applaud Congressman Langevin’s efforts to ensure these warriors and their families get the recognition they’ve earned and so thoroughly deserve,” Yarn said.

Federal Times: New bill looks to end Trump’s security clearance threats

Federal Times: New bill looks to end Trump’s security clearance threats

By Jessica Bur

Three House democrats introduced a bill Aug. 24 that would prevent President Donald Trump from revoking security clearances for political purposes.

“President Trump has shown an alarming tendency to attack members of our intelligence and law enforcement communities when he believes it will be to his political benefit. His recent decision and subsequent threats to revoke the clearances of current and former national security officials is an unconscionable abuse of power, and it underscores the need to protect this process from further political influence,” said bill cosponsor Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I.

“This legislation takes important steps to ensure security clearance decisions are based solely on national security considerations, not political bias or retribution.”

Trump drew the censure of many members of the intelligence community and Congress after revoking the security clearance of ex-CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of the president, Aug. 15.

“Trump’s revocation of John Brennan’s security clearance is petty and vindictive. The president has made a sport of using his broad authority to help his friends and attack his perceived enemies. That’s why safeguarding our security clearance process is critical — we have to prevent these kinds of abuses and provide proper recourse for those impacted,” said cosponsor Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.

“Trump shouldn’t be playing games with our national security. I’m grateful to join Representatives Langevin and Schiff in introducing this bill, though I wish our president didn’t make it necessary.”

Trump also indicated that he was considering revoking the clearances of other frequent critics, including former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former national security advisor Susan Rice and former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

“President Trump has set a dangerous precedent by revoking or threatening to revoke the security clearances of current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials to punish his critics. For those who depend on a security clearance for their livelihood, this effort to create and impose potentially career ending consequences on individuals who appear on the president’s enemies list is unlawful and un-American,” said cosponsor Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Ca.

“In July, Speaker [Paul] Ryan suggested the president was simply ‘trolling’ in making threats — that is clearly not the case. The Congress must ensure that the process by which clearances are granted and revoked is governed by national security concerns, not politics or presidential temper tantrums.”

The text of the bill resembles an amendment to the fiscal year 2019 defense appropriations bill offered by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., earlier that week.