Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 22, 2006

Homeland security committees sidestepped on ports issue

Filed under: Congress and HLS,Port and Maritime Security — by Christian Beckner on February 22, 2006

According to news reports, the Senate Armed Services Committee is holding a hearing tomorrow on the Dubai ports deal.

I’m glad that a hearing is taking place, but why Armed Services? There is a perfectly suitable homeland security committee in both the Senate and the House, not to mention the Senate Commerce and House T&I committees, both of which have some expertise on ports. This flies in the face of what DHS has been fighting for over the past three years: more direct oversight from Congress, and no longer having to report to dozens of committees. This is an issue that I’ve been passionate about over the past two years; I drafted a CSIS-BENS report on the subject of homeland security oversight that was released in Dec. 2004. But if the Administration is going to shop for friendly committees when a difficult homeland security issue arises, then they’re undermining an important principle and hurting DHS.

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