“Homeland Security Oversight Is Still a Confusing Mess,” Says 9/11 Commission Caucus Co-Chair

Jan 4, 2005
Press Release
 WASHINGTON, DC - The House today passed a rules package for the 109th Congress that did not even come close to the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation for strengthening Congressional oversight of homeland security and intelligence, said 9/11 Commission Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). In its report, the commission wrote that Department of Homeland Security officials currently answer to 88 different committees and subcommittees - far too many for effective oversight or direction from Congress. While the new Rules that passed today do make the Homeland Security Committee permanent, they do not give it exclusive jurisdiction over homeland security issues.  

“There are still 88 committees and subcommittees with jurisdiction over homeland security,” said Maloney. “Homeland security oversight is still a confusing mess. It’s a shame that a few committee chairmen are able to prevent change to a more secure system. It’s as if the House leadership is more scared of what their committee chairman might do than they are of al Qaeda.”

In response to the rules Congress adopted today, Maloney introduced a change to the House Rules that would create strong, permanent Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees with exclusive jurisdiction over their areas. It would also create a 14th Appropriations subcommittee for Intelligence and would stipulate that one-third of the Intelligence Committee must also sit on the Appropriations Committee. (Text of legislation)