The House and Senate come back to Washington on Monday after a hard week in their districts. Budget hearings are slacking off as the committee staffs start their behind the scenes work on crafting the details of spending plans. We do have one Boston Bombing hearing, but nothing yet on West Fertilizers. There is a potentially interesting look at cybersecurity in the Senate and a couple of other relatively minor hearings.
Boston Terror Attack
The big news hearing this week will be the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the Boston Bombing on Thursday. There is nothing of real interest here other than it is about the ‘largest terror attack’ since the shootings at Fort Hood. The current witness list includes:
• Edward Davis – Boston Police Commissioner
• Joseph Lieberman – Former US Senator
• Kurt Schwartz – Mass Homeland Security
The Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs of the Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing on Thursday looking at “Cyber Threats: Law Enforcement and Private Sector Responses”. No witness list is currently available. There will be almost certainly be no mention of control system issues here, but this may be an interesting look at cybersecurity from a different view point. We’ll have to wait and see who will be appearing as witnesses.
The Government Operations Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be holding a hearing on "Federal Government Approaches to Issuing Biometric IDs" on Thursday. That’s all of the information currently available. There might be mention of the TWIC.
The Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Relations and the District of Columbia Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be holding a hearing on Wednesday looking at the “Role of Private Sector in Preparedness and Emergency Response”. No witness list available yet.
There is one interesting comment from the agenda on the HSGAC web site; “Additionally, the hearing will explore how the private sector can better prepare for disasters by developing plans, identifying priorities, engaging other stakeholders, and reducing the escalating cost of disasters with smart mitigation efforts.” That could be a whole series of hearings all by itself.
The Missing Hearings
There was a lot of talk last week about congressional interest in the West Fertilizer explosion. There was specific talk about a Senate hearing to be called by Sen. Boxer (D,CA), but there is currently nothing on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee web site yet about such a hearing. I’m assuming that the delays are because people are waiting for more real information to be forthcoming from the various investigations underway.