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ICYMI: Homeland Security Experts Call for Reform of Congressional Oversight of DHS

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

In a full-page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal today, more than 60 national defense leaders called for Congress to, “reform the way it oversees homeland security, saying that the current system jeopardizes national security and leaves the nation vulnerable to cyber-attacks, bioterrorism, and other threats.”

The ad cited a 2010 BPC report assessing the status of the 9/11 Commission recommendations. BPC echoed the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to Congress to “create a single, principal point of oversight and review for homeland security. Congressional oversight for intelligence – and counterterrorism – is now dysfunctional. The homeland security committees in the House and Senate do not have sufficient jurisdiction over important agencies within the Department of Homeland Security. Instead, jurisdiction has been carved up to accommodate antiquated committee structures.” Read the full report here. The recommendation for efficient oversight was first offered by the 9/11 Commission, which issued its report 10 years ago.

“We agree that expecting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to report to more than 100 congressional committees, subcommittees and other groups is antiquated,” noted the advertisement.

Many of the signatories are members of BPC’s Homeland Security Project. BPC applauds The Aspen Institute Justice and Social Program and The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania for drawing attention to the reforms that aim to make our nation more secure.

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KEYWORDS: 9/11 COMMISSION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THE ASPEN INSTITUTE, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA