Chris Strohm reports in Congress Daily that the democratic leadership in the House Homeland Security has finalized their legislative agenda for the year. And the news is not good. After banging the drum for years (like in our recent report with CSIS – Homeland Security 3.0) that oversight of the department needs to be consolidated in the committee, just as the 9/11 Commission recommended, the committee leadership seems intent in every way to undermine the case by incoherent, spotty, and misguided activities.
For starters, according Strohm the draft, “left out language on securing the border, the Coast Guard, dismantling terrorist financing networks and information sharing.” These are all essential homeland security tasks.
Leaving off information sharing is incredibly odd since Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano identified that as one of her top priorities.
Ignoring the borders makes little sense since the transnational crime challenge is becoming critical. I use to say there is nothing going in Nuevo Laredo that isn’t going on in Baghdad. Truth is Baghdad is now a lot safer. More not less attention needs to be paid to the border and the committee should be working with the administration to get things done.
Committee Chairman Thompson also wants to do another chemical security bill, an effort that is sure to just kill more American jobs and not make us much safer. Reasonable chemical security can in fact be achieved without Congressional action.