Well Congress is finally coming back to work after being out most of the month of February for Snow Days and the Presidents’ Day Recess. As you would expect the budget is high on the hearing priority list. Secretary Napolitano will be making the Congressional rounds this week explaining the President’s DHS Budget request. She is scheduled for the following hearings:
Senate Homeland Security Committee, 2-24-10, 10:00 am EST House Appropriations HS Sub-Committee, 2-25-10, 10:00 am EST House Homeland Security Committee, 2-25-10, 2:00 pm EST
Typically, she will submit the same written testimony to each committee and it will be posted to the DHS web site as well. Usually the differences in the testimony will come in the questions that she is asked, but this year with the recent security incidents I expect she will be mostly asked the same questions about airline and general aviation security issues. Hopefully, someone will ask her about the 1 year CFATS authorization extension included in the President’s budget request. There will be one other chemical security connected budget hearing this week. The House Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will look at the maritime related portions of the President’s Budget. Even though the Coast Guard falls under Homeland Security, this is one of the continuing oversight problems that the Secretary has to live with. There is no witness list yet for this hearing, but I suspect the Commandant will be explaining the President’s budget request. There might be a TWIC Reader question or two asked at this hearing but that will probably be the limit of MTSA coverage. There is one chemical security related hearing that doesn’t deal with the budget this week. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will be looking at cyber security and infrastructure protection on Tuesday at 2:30 pm EST. There is no witness list posted yet, but this committee has a history of looking at industrial control system security issues. This hearing may end up being interesting.