House overwhelmingly passes Strengthening Domestic Nuclear Security Act

The House of Representatives passed the Strengthening Domestic Nuclear Security Act on Monday, a move that U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) hopes will strengthen the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO).

Meehan, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies, introduced the bill, which overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 374-11.

“With the rise of terrorist threats across the globe and their increasing sophistication, the mission of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office is vital in protecting the United States from a radiological or nuclear attack,” Meehan said. “This legislation strengthens the relationship with federal, state and local entities who are on the front lines of defense, providing them with the detection technology and resources needed.”

The bill would make the DNDO more effective in identifying potential threats, and enhance efforts by authorities to identify and respond to a potential attack.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said the DNDO carries out a “vital mission“ to protect the U.S. from nuclear and radiological threats.

“This legislation will increase the office’s ability to work with federal, state and local entities to provide nuclear and radiological detection resources,” McCaul said.

McCaul co-sponsored the bill, which was one of three nuclear security-focused pieces of legislation passed by the House on Monday. Both the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and the National Laboratories Mean National Security Act introduced by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) passed unanimously.