At this morning’s Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on the report of the WMD Commission (also known as the Grahan-Talent Commission) former Senator Bob Graham started his testimony by highlighting the critical need for congressional reform of the homeland security oversight process. Hooray for him!
Graham pointed out that at the same time he was testifying, two other Senate committees were holding hearings on the same subject. This is a waste of resources, Graham said, and it needs to be rectified.
There is no doubt that Senator Graham’s comments found a friendly audience with the Senate Homeland Security committee this morning. Even Chairman Lieberman noted that previous efforts to reform the congressional process was an “embarrassing failure.” He promised to be “stubborn” about eliminating redundant oversight but noted it is far easier for Congress to reform the Executive branch than it is to reform itself. As I have said previously, it is time for Congress to take a “Physician Heal Thyself” approach.
The continuing question is whether Senate and House leaders who can actually change the oversight jurisdiction of other committees are listening to former Senator Graham and other bi-partisan thought leaders.
If they are listening, it is high time that they take action. If they are not listening, then it is time they started to pay attention.