Legislation introduced by Bucks County Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-NY) to protect American travelers passed the House of Representatives Tuesday, 415-1.

The Screening and Vetting Passenger Exchange Act of 2017, H.R. 4581, directs the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, to develop best practices that utilize advanced passenger information and passenger name records for counterterrorism screening and vetting operations.

It also directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to make best practices available to certain countries and provide assistance to those countries in implementing the best practices.

Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent, said he has seen the dangers terrorism poses to travelers, and also said those in the nation’s security and intelligence agencies are hampered by the lack of information sharing between the United States and its allies. And H.R. 4581 will strengthen the security and capabilities of our foreign partners and have a major impact on the security of the homeland, he added.

Additionally, the law will allow usage of information/data gathered to confirm the identities and travel patterns of travelers before they are able to enter the U.S. The congressman maintains the threat of terrorism and foreign (fighter) travelers continues, while this legislation is a step toward addressing further potential threats. –PW