Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 7, 2009

Lieberman Boosts Napolitano Nomination

Filed under: Congress and HLS,General Homeland Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on January 7, 2009

One day after Republican ranking member Susan Collins met with Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, Chairman Joe Lieberman had his sit-down with the nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security. Yesterday morning, Lieberman emerged from his 47-minute session with Governor Napolitano to make clear that she is “a superb nominee for a critically important department.” Among the praise, he cited specific credentials. “She has had law enforcement experience as a former Attorney General and she is the governor of a border state.”

Thanks to reporting from Dan Fowler at CQ and information from Seamus Hughes of Lieberman’s Committee staff, we have some insight into how the next Secretary of Homeland Security will be treated in her nomination hearing, which is tentatively scheduled for January 15, 2009.

The meeting was a two-way street. While I thought that this would be an opportunity for Lieberman to learn more about the nominee’s positions, it appears that a good portion of the time was spent outlining the committee’s Homeland Security agenda for 2009. Fowler reported that during his meeting with Napolitano, Lieberman said the two discussed his committee’s priorities for the coming year, including a DHS authorization bill. Lieberman views the bill “as a way for this Committee to state conclusions about the resource needs of the Department and policy changes.”

The two also discussed combating weapons of mass destruction, rail and transit security, chemical security, and cybersecurity.

Indeed, cybersecurity appears to have been a shared priority. “We all worry that in the case of a real conflict, parts of our country, our government, could be incapacitated by cyber attacks — so there’s a lot going on in our government to defend us from cyber attack,” Lieberman said. He continued, suggesting his committee will look at “how we’re organizing that defense and what the role of the Department of Homeland Security should be on that.”

See this post for a few suggested topics that would be appropriate for sussing out the future Secretary’s positions.

Lieberman also explained that Napolitano will develop “a first rate management team” and endeavor “to meld together” DHS as a more unified entity. As for restructuring, looks like FEMA’s position is still an open question.

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2 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

January 7, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

Hoping for rapid confirmation. Note that several key issues not discussed or revealed publically by either participant in meeting. Still think that the new Secretary will take at least 6-10 months to unconver the tangles at DHS but hoping for the best. Wonder what impact the FY 2010 budget will have on DHS? I believe the separate DHS appropriation has been the only real legislative lifeline for DHS or it would really have been screwed up so hoping that continues. Also the statutory org arrangements in DHS continue to make little sense. Does the Coast Guard really need to make DHS its primary outlet for second careers? At least a 50% reduction in non-career positions should be goal of Obama administration and DHS Secretary. Key question for confirmation hearing–Is the Secretary DHS the principal domestic crisis manager for the Executive Branch–if so why, and if not why not?

Pingback by Lieberman Boosts Napolitano Nomination | Security Debrief - a blog of homeland security news and analysis

February 18, 2009 @ 9:45 am

[...] Lieberman Boosts Napolitano Nomination – Homeland Security Watch One day after Republican ranking member Susan Collins met with Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, Chairman Joe Lieberman had his sit-down with the nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security. Yesterday morning, Lieberman emerged from his 47-minute session with Governor Napolitano to make clear that she is “a superb nominee for a critically important department.” Among the praise, he cited specific credentials. “She has had law enforcement experience as a former Attorney General and she is the governor of a border state.” var addthis_pub = “”;Print this article   ©2008 Adfero Group. All Rights Reserved. Terms & Conditions    Privacy Policy var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”); document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src=’” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”)); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-2368616-2″); pageTracker._initData(); pageTracker._trackPageview(); [...]

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