Rep. Titus Bill to Diversify Department of Homeland Security Workforce Passes House

Sep 30, 2020
Press Release

September 30, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today legislation introduced by Representative Dina of Nevada’s First Congressional District, a member of the Homeland Security Committee, to diversify the workforce of the Department of Homeland Security unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Homeland Security Acquisition Professional Career Program Act, H.R. 5822, establishes in law an acquisition professional career program to develop individuals to fill job vacancies within the Department of Homeland Security. Under the bill, candidates for these positions would be recruited from institutions of higher education, including historically Black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions. The legislation also encourages the Department of Homeland Security to recruit veterans for these positions.

Each year, the Department of Homeland Security spends billions of dollars to acquire goods and services to support its many missions. For example, the Transportation Security Administration buys passenger and baggage screening equipment to secure the nation’s airports and the U.S. Coast Guard purchases ships and planes to conduct search and rescue missions.

However, a 2015 Government Accountability Office report found that 21 of the 22 DHS programs it reviewed faced staffing shortfalls in acquisition program offices. The Government Accountability Office currently includes the Department of Homeland Security’s acquisition workforce shortages on its “High Risk Report.”

“The Department of Homeland Security’s staff should reflect the diversity of this country,” said Congresswoman Titus (NV-1). “The current staff shortages at DHS make it more difficult for airports like McCarran International to safely and efficiently welcome travelers. We can and should fill these job openings with veterans and graduates of HBCU’s and Hispanic-serving institutions. I’m grateful to Chairman Thompson and my House colleagues for unanimously passing this legislation and I urge the Senate to quickly do the same.”