Monday, March 7, 2011

Congressional Hearings – Week of 3-7-11

This week there are four hearings on Capitol Hill that might end up being of some interest to the chemical security community; nothing directly about chemical security, but they might end up touching on related issues. They will be two House committee hearings and two in the Senate.

Homeland Security

The House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a hearing on “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response” on Thursday, March 10th, and 9:30 am EST. This hearing highlights the conflict that we will probably see develop between Chairman King (R, NY) and Ranking Member Thompson (D, MS). Thompson has complained that the focus on Muslim radicalization ignores other potential terrorist threats.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold an oversight hearing for DHS on Wednesday, March 9th at 10:00. No word yet on the issues that the Committee will address in this hearing, but Secretary Napolitano is the only witness currently listed.


The focus of the FY 2012 budget hearing before the House Appropriations Committee starts to look at agencies within departments. The Homeland Security Subcommittee will hold a hearing this week to look at the President’s budget request for the Coast Guard. The March 10th hearing at 2:00 pm EST might touch on TWIC issues, particularly the TWIC Reader implementation, or the harmonization of CFATS and MTSA; but these are relatively low level issues.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will look at the FY 2012 budget request for the Department of Transportation. Not too much in the way of security issues expected to come up in this hearing. It will be interesting to see if the rumors of huge increases in the PHMSA fees for special permits will be addressed.

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