Sunday, June 16, 2013

Congressional Hearings – Week of 6-16-13

The summer recess gets one week closer and only two spending bills have been passed in the House and none have been reported in the Senate. Of the four hearings this week of potential interest to the chemical safety/security or cybersecurity communities, only one deals with a spending bill. The other three deal with TWIC, rail safety, and the security clearance approval process.

Transportation Spending

The Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee will be holding a markup hearing Wednesday on the FY 2014 Transportation – HUD spending bill. We might expect to see transportation security and or safety measures included in this bill. There is no draft yet available for review on this bill.


The Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security of the House Homeland Security Committee will be holding a hearing on Tuesday looking at “Threat, Risk and Vulnerability: The Future of the TWIC Program.” It looks like it will include a new GAO report on the TWIC program. The current witness list includes:

• Mr. Stephen M. Lord, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO);
• Mr. Steve Sadler, Transportation Security Administration;
• Rear Admiral Joseph A. ServidioU.S. Coast Guard; and
• Mr. Marcus, Port of Houston Authority

Security Clearances

Two subcommittees of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be holding a hearing on Thursday looking at “Safeguarding our Nation's Secrets: Examining the Security Clearance Process”. This will be looking at the security clearance process for government employees and contractors, but the problems with that process have to be corrected before there is can be any efficiency increases in the process for approving security clearances for critical infrastructure organizations.

The witness list has not yet been finalized, but invitations have been sent to:

• Merton W. Miller, Office of Personnel Management;
• Patrick E. McFarland, IG Office of Personnel Management;
• Gene L. Dodaro, US GAO; and
• Stanley L. Sims, Defense Security Service

Rail Transportation Safety

The Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will be holding a hearing on Wednesday looking at “Staying on Track: Next Steps in Improving Passenger and Freight Rail Safety”. The hearing will address recent high-profile rail accidents. No witness list is currently available

Missing Hearings

We are still waiting for the expected hearings on the West Fertilizer explosion and the related investigation conflicts between the ATF and the CSB. I am also expecting someone in Congress to take up the continuing issues between industry and ISCD concerning the CFATS personnel surety program.

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