Tuesday, June 10, 2008

HR 6193 Hearing Update

The witness list for the HR 6193 hearing tomorrow has been increased by one; Caroline Fredrickson, Director, Washington Legislative Office, American Civil Liberties Union. The witness list appears to be politically lopsided, especially since there is no one from DHS on the list. We typically see better balance at Homeland Security Committee hearings. Perhaps DHS and opposing views will be heard at a subsequent hearing.

Following the hearing there will be a markup session for this bill and three other pieces of security related legislation. The markup session will cover:

  • HR 3815 - The "Homeland Security Open Source Information Enhancement Act of 2007"
  • HR 4806 - The "Reducing Over-Classification Act of 2007"
  • HR 6098 - The ‘‘Personnel Reimbursement for Intelligence Cooperation and Enhancement of Homeland Security Act’’ or the ‘‘PRICE of Homeland Security Act’’
  • HR 6193 - The "Improving Public Access to Documents Act"

I have reviewed HR 4806 before (see: HR 4806 – Reducing Over-Classification Act of 2007"). HR 3815 is a relatively simple bill encouraging DHS to make the maximum use of open source (e.g.: newspapers, TV, the internet) information to ferret out intelligence information about terrorist activities. HR 6098 modifies the grant procedures for Fusion Centers to require DHS grants to continue funding those centers on a long term basis.

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