Congress considers single committee on homeland security
The chairmen of the U.S. House Armed Services, International Relations and Government Reform committees threw their support behind efforts to consolidate jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security under a single committee.
As many as 79 committees and subcommittees in the House and Senate currently oversee some aspect of DHS operations. Department officials, the Sept. 11 Commission and other analysts have criticized the current arrangement because DHS officials have so much of their time tied up preparing testimony or responding to information requests from members of Congress.
Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.; International Relations Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill.; and Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., said they would introduce a resolution on Jan. 4 calling on the House to accept the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to create a permanent Homeland Security Committee.
The Senate recently gave the Government Affairs Committee the added responsibility of homeland security, but with limited power over appropriations, intelligence and other matters that were retained by chairmen of other committees during a turf battle over the 2005 DHS appropriations bill.