Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 20, 2009

Napolitano to Appear at House Hearing

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on February 20, 2009

Next Wednesday, February 25th, the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing entitled “DHS: The Path Forward” with Secretary Napolitano as the sole witness.

The hearing, which starts at 1000, will be in 311 Cannon HOB, but it will be webcast if you can’t be there. This blog may just cover it, too.

What should we expect? The Secretary’s prepared remarks will likely touch on a few key items. These include:

• The need to fill out the DHS leadership team, including getting her Dep Sec confirmed.

• A review of the initial results from her first ~8 action directives, most of which should have resulted in initial oral or written reports to her from the component agencies.

• A review of key programs in her crosshairs for change (i.e. state grants, REAL ID, SBInet, and Deepwater)

• Key offices in which she/the Administration plans to make changes, to include, possibly, the National Applications Office, the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), the National Cyber Security Center, and the Office of Policy. Oh, and maybe FEMA.

• An update on the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review

This is all speculation, and perhaps wishful thinking, but I hope to see her take up the necessary effort to elevate the DHS Policy Office to that of an Undersecretary. While org chart shifts rarely solve problems, much would improve from this kind of a change. The first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review is under the leadership of that office, and it needs bureaucratic heft to do the job right, not to mention its other important responsibilities.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

February 20, 2009 @ 4:29 pm

I understand the Senate confirmation hearing for Ms. Lute is the 27th? Also my guess that the house will follow up some of the confirmation questions that were skillfully dodged by the Secretary at her confirmation hearing. Perhaps the one of some interest given the OIG report just issued is “Whether goest FEMA?”

Comment by Christopher Tingus

February 21, 2009 @ 3:50 am

As a worsening economic climate prevails, local budget cuts to public safety further erode the ability of appropriate first response for many localities which is unacceptable. FEMA’s organization and identity crisis must be addressed yesterday –

As tornado season quickly approaches and threats from those who seek our demise continue to be pursued unabated, we here on the street have sleepless nights worried that those in the beltway are too disorganized and out of touch for a fed “bailout” of our 250 metropolitan areas is required at the federal level and a FEMA well trained and well coordinated would depict a diligent portrayal from the executive branch in understanding the immediate needs of we the caller for 911 services and FEMA teams in response to localities struck by devastation –

The clock is ticking!

Let’s get our act together. Far too much time has elapsed and obviously the “bureaucracy” at hand impedes real commitment which localities seek.

Christopher Tingus
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645 USA

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