GoLocalProv: Langevin Set to Launch Re-Election Campaign for Congress

GoLocalProv: Langevin Set to Launch Re-Election Campaign for Congress

By GoLocalProv Political Team

Jim Langevin is set to launch his re-election campaign for Congress in pursuit of his 10th term.

“It has been a privilege to represent the 2nd Congressional District since 2001, and I want to thank my fellow Rhode Islanders for their steadfast support and for allowing me to serve in a position that I love and I’m honored to hold. There is still much work to be done in order to keep our country moving in the right direction, and I hope voters will continue to put their faith in me to represent their best interests in Washington. I’m proud to be declaring my candidacy, and I look forward to continuing to work toward finding solutions to our nation’s most pressing challenges,” said Langevin.

Langevin will launch his campaign on Monday, June 25 at the Rhode Island Secretary of State Elections Division on W. River Street in Providence.

He will file his Declaration of Candidacy at 10 a.m.

Langevin’s Career

Langevin started his career in public service in 1986 when he was elected to the state’s Constitutional Convention.

He later served as a Warwick State Representative and was then elected Secretary of State.

Langevin was elected to the United States Congress in 2000, and currently serves as a senior member of both the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees.

Foreign Affairs: Langevin Leads Introduction of Bipartisan Bill to Step Up Federal Fight against Rehoming

Foreign Affairs: Langevin Leads Introduction of Bipartisan Bill to Step Up Federal Fight against Rehoming

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) today introduced bipartisan legislation to protect adopted children from being “rehomed.” The bill was introduced following a roundtable discussion on adoption permanency, which Langevin hosted at Adoption Rhode Island with child welfare advocates and adoptive families last week. Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA) joined Langevin in introducing the bill.

The Safe Home Act would close a loophole in existing federal law by clarifying that the abandonment of an adopted child with a stranger, known as rehoming, is a form of child abuse.  Reuters brought national attention to rehoming in 2013, when it published an investigative series on adoptive parents who use Internet forums to advertise children they wish to abandon. Transferring custody outside of legal adoption practices often places children at risk for neglect, exploitation, or even sexual abuse. However, state child welfare authorities have reported that they are unsure whether they can investigate rehoming cases because rehoming is not explicitly defined as a form of child abuse.

“Rehoming is a frightening phenomenon that is made all the more tragic when child welfare authorities are unable to intervene on an adopted child’s behalf,” said Congressman Langevin, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth. “The Safe Home Act will clarify that rehoming is an abusive practice and will ensure our frontline child defenders have tools to keep adopted children safe and go after those who put them at risk.”

“Far too many adopted children are at risk of harm when there is a lack of clarity and consistency in investigative response to reports of suspected rehoming,” said Darlene Allen, Executive Director of Adoption Rhode Island, who participated in Langevin’s roundtable. “This legislation is critical to the protection of our children.”

“As the practice of rehoming has escalated, it’s become imperative that the federal government step in to take control of the situation,” said Maureen Flatley, national child welfare expert and participant in Langevin’s adoption roundtable. “Representative Langevin has long been at the forefront of this effort, and I applaud him for introducing this bill.”

“As the father of two adopted children I can think of nothing more important than making sure minors in the child welfare system are protected,” said Congressman Marino. “By classifying rehoming as a form of child abuse, The Safe Home Act gives our nation’s child welfare authorities what they need to investigate these cases. This is a common-sense piece of legislation and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this bill forward.”

The Safe Home Act adds rehoming to the federal definition of child abuse and neglect under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), reducing legal ambiguity and allowing states to use federal funds to counter the practice. The bill protects a parent’s ability to place their children with a trusted relative when appropriate but ensures they cannot transfer custody to a stranger without the oversight of the child welfare system. It was based in part on findings from members of the National Working Group on Unregulated Child Transfers (rehoming).

Earlier this Congress, Langevin introduced the Protecting Adopted Children Act and the Supporting Adopted Children and Families Act, legislation to prevent rehoming by increasing pre- and post-adoption services, including mental health services, to ensure families never reach a crisis point at which they feel they can no longer care for their adopted child.

Homeland Preparedness News: House bill would enhance accountability for gun dealers engaging in illegal sales practices

Homeland Preparedness News: House bill would enhance accountability for gun dealers engaging in illegal sales practices

By Aaron Martin

Firearms dealers that engage in illegal sales practices would face stronger oversight from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and stiffer penalties under a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday.

U.S. Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI), Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Gwen Moore (D-WI) introduced the Keeping Gun Dealers Honest Act on the second anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. The lawmakers cited a study by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence that found 5 percent of gun dealers supply 90 percent of guns used in crimes in calling for more oversight and stiffer penalties.

“The vast majority of gun dealers follow the law, but the few engaging in reckless and illegal behavior are a major factor in the gun violence epidemic gripping our nation,” Langevin said. “By specifically targeting bad actors that sell guns without background checks or falsify records, this bill will help stop guns from getting into the hands of criminals. It is absolutely critical that we do everything we can to ensure our laws are properly enforced to stem the tide of violence engulfing our communities.”

Under the bill, the ATF would have more authority to conduct inspections to ensure that gun dealers comply with federal law. Gun dealers that falsify gun sale records would face longer prison sentences, and those that fail to comply with ATF regulations could face additional civil sanctions.

“Tragedy after tragedy we are told that we don’t need any new gun laws, that we should just enforce the laws on the books,” Deutch said. “But in too many cases, we’ve seen that the laws on the books are practically unenforceable. The combination of stringent standards and depleted budgets put ATF inspectors in an impossible situation. Recent reports show that many gun dealers who illegally sell weapons to people who have proven that they are not responsible gun owners routinely get a free pass — even after repeated violations.”

The bill would also give the ATF more discretion when issuing gun licenses. ATF could also force gun dealers that are connected to 10 or more crimes to conduct physical inventories.

“We’ve seen time and time again what happens when guns land in the wrong hands,” Moore said. “This bill takes a critical step forward in preventing such tragedies by ensuring that gun dealers engaging in illegal and reckless behavior are punished under the full extent of the law. The time for Congress to act is long overdue. We must move quickly to pass this legislation to help keep our communities safe.”

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) has announced plans to introduce companion legislation in the Senate.

Sun Sentinel: Ted Deutch, other Democrats want crackdown on ‘illegal and reckless’ gun dealers

Sun Sentinel: Ted Deutch, other Democrats want crackdown on ‘illegal and reckless’ gun dealers

By Anthony Man

A trio of Democratic members of Congress introduced legislation Tuesday aimed at cracking down on “bad actor” gun dealers who provide the overwhelming majority of weapons used in crime.

The lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, who represents most of Broward and southeast Palm Beach county, introduced the “Keeping Gun Dealers Honest Act” on the two-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, in which 49 people were killed.

Deutch represents Parkland, where 17 people were killed and 17 injured in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in February.

“Tragedy after tragedy we are told that we don’t need any new gun laws, that we should just enforce the laws on the books. But in too many cases, we’ve seen that the laws on the books are practically unenforceable. The combination of stringent standards and depleted budgets put ATF inspectors in an impossible situation,” Deutch said in a statement. “Recent reports show that many gun dealers who illegally sell weapons to people who have proven that they are not responsible gun owners routinely get a free pass — even after repeated violations.”

The proposal is aimed at gun dealers “engaging in illegal and reckless behavior are punished under the full extent of the law,” U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., said in a statement.

The lawmakers cited a study about so-called bad-actor gun dealers from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It found 5 percent of gun dealers supply 90 percent of guns used in crime.

Prospects for the Democratic-sponsored legislation in the Republican-controlled Congress are poor. Public opinion shows large percentages of Americans favor some restrictions on guns, but the congressional leadership doesn’t permit action on those measures.

The measure would:

— Authorize increased Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives inspections of gun dealers.

— Strengthen penalties for falsifying gun sales records, including longer prison sentences.

— Add new civil sanctions for gun dealers who violate ATF regulations.

— Give ATF discretion in issuing gun licenses.

— Allow ATF to require dealers to conduct physical inventories if more than 10 guns used in crimes are traced back to them.

The proposal is also sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, D-Rhode Island. U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., plans to introduce a Senate version of the bill.

ABC 6: Local leaders react to historic summit

ABC 6: Local leaders react to historic summit

By: Rebecca Turco

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is making waves around the world.

Monica Lee, the president of Rhode Island’s Korean-American Association, has dreamed for peace in the Koreas her entire life, so to see Kim promise denuclearization was a life-changing moment. She woke up around 3 a.m. to watch the summit in real-time. “I really hope for continued communication with a great outcome,” she said. “It’s not only Korean hope, and hope for the world. Who needs nuclear? No country needs that.”

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation remains skeptical over what will come of this peace agreement, pointing to the lack of a specific action plan for denuclearization.

“It was more of a photo opportunity than a substantive diplomatic agreement,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D). Reed feels the U.S. is the only party making a concession by pulling out of military exercises in South Korea – an announcement the president made at a press conference afterward.

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D) also feels the summit left more to be desired. “All of the items listed in the announcement have been echoed by past North Korean leaders,” he said in a statement. “I hope we can progress beyond this list to a meaningful accord that yields lasting peace.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin (D) says it’s still not clear whether the summit was a publicity stunt from North Korea: “Both the President and Kim have a history of failing to honor their commitments, so we need to see verifiable, concrete steps if we are to achieve peace on the Korean peninsula,” Langevin said in a statement.

Rhode Island’s GOP Chairman Brandon Bell tells ABC6 News this summit is being made into a partisan issue when it’s not. “The biggest superpower and the isolated country North Korea getting together is a big thing.”

Homeland Preparedness News: House committee advances opioid anti-trafficking legislation

Homeland Preparedness News: House committee advances opioid anti-trafficking legislation

Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Peter King (R-NY) recently praised the efforts of the House Committee on Homeland Security in advancing legislation designed to address opioid trafficking.

The congressmen said passage of their Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a Joint Task Force to better coordinate the interdiction of illicit fentanyl and other opioids entering the United States.

DHS Joint Task Forces coordinate activities across the Department for border security, crisis response, and regional cooperation. Under the Langevin-King legislation, the Department would be authorized to create new task forces focused on opioid interdiction.

“The opioid crisis is devastating communities in Rhode Island and across the nation,” Langevin, a senior member of the committee, said. “We must stop the flow of overseas fentanyl into our communities, and that requires continued collaboration and integration across the Department of Homeland Security. A new Joint Task Force will provide important coordination among the DHS component agencies and between the Department and private sector partners.”

King said the action and support from the Homeland Security Committee is an important step and a recognition of Langevin’s efforts.

“I will continue to do all that I can to make sure the Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act becomes law, and we stop this epidemic from destroying our communities,” he said.

The congressman referenced a report from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, highlighting synthetic opioids like fentanyl are often transported in the mail or by private parcel delivery services from overseas. McCaskill has sponsored companion legislation in the Senate.

The bill now heads to the full House for further consideration.

Warwick Beacon: Seniors advised on how to stay ahead of scammers, hackers

Warwick Beacon: Seniors advised on how to stay ahead of scammers, hackers

Change your password and only friend the people you know. That was some of the advice given a group of senior Friday as Congressman Jim Langevin, co-founder and co-chair of the congressional cybersecurity caucus visited Pilgrim Senior Enrichment Center to offer ways for seniors to protect themselves from hackers and scams while surfing the web.

“You are not helpless,” Langevin said. “There are things you can do to protect yourself in this whole thing…The Internet is here to stay but it has never been built for security.”

Comparing it to locking your house and keeping your car safe from theft, seniors must take the right steps to stay away from today’s manipulation tactics and scams.

John Martin, a representative from Rhode Island AARP encouraged seniors to become involved in the AARP’s Fraud Watch Network which will keep members updated on recent scams and allow them to report a scam if they were to come across one. The website, aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork will allow seniors to stay informed and safe while spending time on Facebook and other popular sites.

“You have a part time job,” Martin said, comparing staying up-to-date on the latest scams to doctors reading recent medical journals.

Rhode Island Cybersecurity Officer Mike Steinmetz also gave a presentation about how to make sure the senior’s Facebook settings were set to private. He also told seniors about how changing passwords every so often is a good way to keep hackers out of their accounts.

“Be careful about your location, too,” Steinmetz advised. “If you go on vacation post the pictures after you get home.”

RI State Police Computer Crimes Unit Captain, John Alfred discussed the different types of scams and how to identify them. He explained social engineering as a manipulation of people, criminals trying to get people to give them personal information that they can use to take advantage of and scam the individual.

Alfred stressed how important is to approach emails and websites with caution. He explained that hackers try to look like legitimate companies.

“Your bank is not going to reach out to you in an email asking for personal information,” he said. “Anytime someone asks you to wire money, be very suspicious. Try not to be too trusting… please be skeptical.”

One senior, Christopher Brook explained how important he thought the information was, and he was glad to have learned it.

“All of this is very relevant,” Brook said. “The crooks are staying ahead of the legislation and common sense.”

WJAR: Honoring those who paid ultimate price for freedom on Memorial Day

WJAR: Honoring those who paid ultimate price for freedom on Memorial Day

By Michelle San Miguel

On Memorial Day, people across the nation honor service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Hundreds came to pay their respects at Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery in Exeter on Monday.

It was a solemn moment as Gold Star family members, along with Gov. Gina Raimondo, placed a wreath at the World War II Memorial as a tribute the those who died serving in the armed forces.

“Because of the sacrifice of you and your loved ones, we’re the greatest country on earth,” Raimondo said at the state’s 44th annual Memorial Day commemoration. “We have our freedom. We have our democracy and we’re still the envy of the world.”

During a politically divisive time in the country, elected officials reminded Rhode Islanders of their shared values.

“Where we may have political differences, we have to remember that we’re still all Americans and think of the tremendous service and sacrifice those who wear the uniform give every day to protect freedom,” Congressman Jim Langevin said.

The event was personal for the Brown family. They have loved ones who served in World War II and Vietnam buried at the cemetery.

“We just wanted to come out and have a peaceful moment with them and reminisce,” Carol Brown told NBC 10.

Cyber Scoop: House defense bill would usher in cybersecurity changes at DOD

Cyber Scoop: House defense bill would usher in cybersecurity changes at DOD

By Sean Lyngaas

The House of Representatives this week overwhelmingly passeda defense policy bill with several cybersecurity measures aimed at better securing Pentagon networks.

The legislation — the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — seeks closer collaboration between the departments of Defense and Homeland Security in defending against hackers, asks for quick notification of data breaches of military personnel, and continues to crack down on foreign-made telecom products that are deemed security threats.

The NDAA is an annual ritual that lawmakers use to shape Pentagon policies and budget plans while throwing in some pet projects to boot. The House bill — a $717 billion behemoth — eventually will be merged with the Senate’s version, which that chamber’s Armed Services Committee also approved this week. It’s unclear when the Senate bill will have floor votes.

One key provision of the House bill, according to the Rules Committee print, would set up a pilot program for the Pentagon to dispatch up to 50 cybersecurity staff to support the DHS’s mission to secure civilian networks. The deployment of the DOD personnel, potentially to DHS’s prized round-the-clock threat-sharing hub, would be a reminder of the overlapping turf that agencies compete for and try to reconcile in cyberspace.

While DOD may find itself loaning out a small group of its experts, lawmakers want to boost the department’s own workforce by giving the Defense secretary direct hiring authority through September 2025 for “any position involved with cybersecurity.” The Pentagon has boosted its ranks of computer gurus in recent years through U.S Cyber Command, but lawmakers and military brass are wary of losing these experts to lucrative private-sector jobs.

In the event of a “significant” breach of service members’ personal information, the Defense secretary would be required to promptly notify Congress. That issue came to the fore in January when it was revealed that GPS company Strava had published a map online that showed soldiers’ locations via devices like Fitbits.

Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, backed the defense bill’s provisions to improve “our ability to deter adversaries in cyberspace.” In response to the Russian influence-operation to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, the bill would ask President Donald Trump for a report to Congress on what his administration is doing to protect against “cyber-enabled” information operations.

The House bill also keeps the pressure on Chinese telecom companies ZTE and Huawei by barring federal agencies from buying their products, and an amendment from Texas Republican Michael McCaul extends that ban to any use of federal grant money and loans.

The Senate version of the bill also tightly restricts the Pentagon’s use of technology considered a risk to national security. For example, an amendment from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., would require DOD vendors to reveal if they’ve let foreign governments inspect their source code.

Senators seem intent on putting more language around offensive cyber-operations in their version of the bill compared to the House’s. According to a summary of the Senate bill, it stipulates a U.S. policy to use “all instruments of national power, including the use of offensive cyber capabilities” to deter cyberattacks that “significantly disrupt the normal functioning of our democratic society or government.”

PBN: Five Questions With: James R. Langevin

PBN: Five Questions With: James R. Langevin

By Susan Shalhoub

The National Institute of Standards and Technology released an update to the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity this spring, the group’s first such update. Rep. James R. Langevin, D-R.I., is co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and a senior member of both the House Committee on Armed Services and the House Committee on Homeland Security.

PBN: Why is it important for different sectors, such as academia and businesses, to partner on cybersecurity defense?

LANGEVIN: Cybersecurity is a challenge that everyone faces. Computers and other information technology are pervasive in every sector of the economy … no one has a monopoly on cybersecurity talent or techniques. That’s one reason it’s been so important for the National Institute for Standards and Technology to bring together a broad set of stakeholders to develop its cybersecurity guidelines.

In updating the Cybersecurity Framework, NIST consulted with experts from business, academia and government to develop guidelines that draw upon the unique experiences of people in each of these fields and ensure that the guidelines are applicable to any organization.

PBN: What has changed most since the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity was first created?

LANGEVIN: NIST published a major update to the Cybersecurity Framework. … The new version improves some of the original technical guidelines and better explains how to manage supply-chain cyber risks. The Russian NotPetya attack, for instance, while originally targeted in Ukraine, has cost U.S. corporations [such as] Merck and FedEx hundreds of millions of dollars and was enabled by a supply-chain vulnerability.

Every business should think about how it works with its vendors and service providers and whether sensitive data may be inadvertently exposed. One of the biggest changes, though, is that NIST has made the Framework easier to use. An organization using the revised Framework will have more information to select the levels of cybersecurity it wishes to implement and to self-assess its progress in reaching those levels.

NIST has also worked to provide more resources to make the Framework immediately relevant to small and medium businesses, which often do not have dedicated risk managers. Beyond the content of the Framework, a lot has changed with respect to awareness and adoption since it was first published in 2014. The word has gotten out.

PBN: In a press release recently, you said: “Cybersecurity is not just a technical issue, and an understanding of the economics of controls is essential if we expect companies to adopt them voluntarily.” Can you elaborate?

LANGEVIN: Of course, technology is at the core of cybersecurity. In a broader sense, however, cybersecurity is just part of risk management. Businesses generally excel at assessing competitive and market-driven risks, [such as] the risk that a disruptive technology will reduce demand for their product or service.

Unfortunately, we still lack the ability to describe cybersecurity risks in similar business terms. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework describes steps organizations can take to reduce their risk, but that guidance needs to be coupled with better cost-benefit information to help executives – and board members – prioritize cybersecurity investments.

PBN: What do you think is most generally misunderstood about the topic of cybersecurity?

LANGEVIN: There are, unfortunately, some who believe they have nothing to worry about because no malicious cyber actor has a reason to target them. Conversely, there are doomsayers who insist that no amount of cybersecurity will protect you from a determined adversary. The reality is somewhere in between.

There are basic defensive steps – often called “cyber hygiene” – that we should all take to improve our cybersecurity. Using unique passwords – or even better, a password manager, keeping software up to date with patches, maintaining offline backups of valuable data and scrutinizing links in emails or texts before clicking on them are a few examples. Everyone should realize that they’re a target. But they should also feel empowered to take steps to protect themselves.

PBN: What more needs to be done?

LANGEVIN: One thing I hear over and over again is that we need to strengthen our cybersecurity workforce, because the demand for cyber skills in every sector is staggering. That’s why I’ve been proud to introduce and co-sponsor several bills to expand cybersecurity scholarships, apprenticeships and training. I also believe we need a national standard for notifying consumers when their private data has been breached, which is what my Personal Data Notification and Protection Act would provide.

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing writer.