On May 27 U.S. Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Max Rose (D-NY) introduced the National Commission on U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Act (H.R. 7028). The bill proposes the formation of a “National Counterterrorism Commission” that would be charged with reevaluating U.S. national security and counterterrorism policy.

Rep. Engle cited growing national security threats as a primary reason to support the bill in the press release. “The time has come to take a hard look at our counterterrorism efforts in the context of the other national security threats faced by our country—ranging from climate change, to infectious disease, to growing challenges posed by other great powers.”

The proposed National Counterterrorism Commission would be comprised of 12 counterterrorism experts appointed by U.S. House and Senate leaders. Generally, the commission would:

  • reassess U.S. counterterrorism efforts and policy frameworks,
  • Study how counterterrorism efforts can focus on the full range of domestic and international threats while balancing other U.S. interests,
  • consider the impact of counterterrorism efforts on civil rights and “nationally recognized human rights abroad.”
  • “consult with relevant experts in the Federal Government, academia, law, civil society, and the private sector” and make recommendations on how to best adapt U.S. counterterrorism objectives and activities to Congress.

Rep. Deutch stated, “Terror threats against the United States look differently today than even 10 or 20 years ago. We need to stay ahead of the constantly evolving nature of these threats by reviewing and updating our counterterrorism strategies accordingly. This commission would study the current and future threats against the United States and recommend how best to keep Americans safe.”

The Charity & Security Network will continue to monitor the National Commission on U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Act and the impacts it may have on the civil society sector.