Friday, February 10, 2012

House Homeland Security Chairman Ignores CFATS Problems

Yesterday Rep. King (R,NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, published a listing of the priorities for the Committee for 2012. Surprisingly (or maybe not) CFATS does not make the list; not moving a CFATS authorization bill forward nor investigating the current problems at ISCD that have slowed the implementation of the CFATS program.

Now I understand that in the great scheme of thing the CFATS program is a relatively minor program within the Department of Homeland Security. It doesn’t even show up as a line item in the budget documents submitted to the Congress. But, here is a list of things that King considers more important to the security of the Homeland:

• Obtaining for the military victims of the 2009 Islamist terror attacks on the homeland, at Little Rock, Arkansas and Fort Hood, Texas, the Purple Heart Medals they deserve;

• Studying security preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London; and

• Ensuring the protection of U.S. security contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq (many of whom are veterans, reservists, or National Guardsmen) who have been illegally detained by the governments in Kabul and Baghdad;

I accept that these are legitimate items of inquiry (though maybe not the purview of the Homeland Security Committee), but it would be nice for Rep. King to explain how these items are more important than ensuring that high-risk chemical facilities are adequately protected against terrorist attack.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

PJ: many of us share your criticism of Congress for not advancing a reauthorization bill. It is inexcusable that three committees passed a CFATS extension bill with bipartisan votes, only to allow those bills to die once they reached the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader. But I suspect the House Homeland Security Committee's hearing next week may touch on CFATS. If it doesn't, then I would recommend more heavy criticism in your blog. To do so prior to the hearing may be a tad premature.

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