Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lame Duck Congressional Hearings – Week of 11-12-12

Well the election is over and the 112th Congress is coming back to Washington to catch up on some of the work they couldn’t get done, for a variety of reasons, before the election. There are a large number of important topics on their plate to be dealt with in their limited time left in office yet they still have time to conduct hearings on topics that have already been talked to death.

One such topic is Weapons of Mass Destruction (maybe it should be all caps, if you listen to the rhetoric). This coming week the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence of the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a hearing on “WMD Terrorism: Assessing the Continued Homeland Threat” on Thursday. No witness are currently listed on Committee web site. It is not currently listed as a closed hearing so there will be no real update of intelligence information presented.

The Chair of the Subcommittee, Rep. Meehan (R,PA), is one of the co-authors of HR 2356, the WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2011, that was reported just before the extended election break, so there doesn’t seem to be much of a legislative reason for conducting this hearing unless the testimony is expected to provide additional information to support a House vote on the pending bill during the lame duck session. There has been bipartisan support for this bill, but action is still ‘pending’ on this bill in four other committees with a 'deadline' for their action of November 30th. It might take a WMD to actually get this bill to the floor.

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