Both the House and Senate will be in session this week and the big news will, of course, be the President’s State of the Union (SOTU) Address. With this on the agenda there is a relatively light hearing schedule in both houses of Congress. There is only one this week that may (and this may be a stretch) be of specific interest to readers of this blog, a House hearing on TSA criminal investigators. There may be an authorization bill finally wending its way to a final vote this week as well.
TSA Criminal Investigators
On Tuesday the Transportation Security Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a hearing “Examining TSA's Cadre of Criminal Investigators”. Since these investigators also handle surface transportation investigation there may be some mention of chemical transportation security measures, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
All of the witnesses for this hearing are from DHS, including a representative of the DHS IG’s office. I am kind of surprised not to see someone from either the GAO or the TSA employees union.
HR 2642 Conference Report
The agriculture authorization bill is one of those big deals that needs to be passed every year. Here we are just over a quarter of the way through the fiscal year and, according to the Majority Leader’s web site, we may be getting a conference report this week.
The original version of the bill introduced in the House included some chemical safety and security measures, but they were removed in the Senate version. It will be interesting to see if any make it back into the Conference version of the bill.
I expect that the President’s annual speech tomorrow will include at least some mention of chemical safety and security measures, especially after the high profile train wrecks and the recent spill in West Virginia. I don’t really expect anything new on this front other than perhaps a plug for actions being taken (VERY SLOWLY) under his Improving Chemical Safety and Security EO.