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The incoming and presumptive Chairman for the U.S. House of Representative’s Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), has outlined his thoughts on the future actions of the committee. In an editorial in today’s New York Post, “Getting Homeland Security on Track,” the current ranking member of the committee (as well as its previous Chairman) has outlined an ambitious “to-do” list that leaves no illusion as to the work that lies ahead.

When you pay close attention to what he’s listed, it’s obvious that the committee is going to being moving a whole lot faster than it has these past two years. King’s public stature as the media’s “go-to” guy for commentary and analysis on homeland security events is something the Republican leadership should wisely leverage when it comes to effective and insightful oversight. He has been one of the strongest and most knowledgeable voices when it comes to the department’s mission, the resources it needs to do its job and making sure that state and local government, as well as private sector players, are all equally as equipped and prepared to protect us from all hazards.

The reinvigoration of the Homeland Security Committee is something that is way overdue for a lot reasons, but I can’t help but have the feeling that its work is going to be taken a whole lot more seriously than it has under the soon-to-be outgoing House leadership. Homeland seemed to be backwater news and “not ready for primetime” to them, but when you have “old bull Committee Chairmen” like Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN) and others who have effectively undercut the committee’s work every step of the way being voted out of Congress, there is a real chance to make effective change.

That’s something I’m anxious to see happen, and I know I’m not alone in that.

Rich Cooper blog primarily on emergency preparedness and response, management issues related to the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector’s role in homeland security. Read More