From preventing terrorist attacks to thwarting cyber election tampering, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has an expansive and difficult mission. As the 9/11 Commission warned, that mission is made even more complicated by fractured oversight of DHS among many different congressional committees. Nearly 100 congressional committees and subcommittees currently have jurisdiction over DHS. Streamlining oversight of DHS is the most important unfulfilled recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.
Despite gridlock on this issue for many years, there have been positive indications that leaders on Capitol Hill may be willing to tackle reform of DHS oversight in a new Congress. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) announced this fall that he intends to work with his colleagues in Congress to reduce the number of committees with jurisdiction over the department.
Given that the terrorist threat shows no sign of abating, ensuring proper oversight over the agency tasked with keeping our homeland safe is more critical than ever.
Jeh Charles Johnson
Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Chairman, House Homeland Security Committee
Former Representative from California
Director, President, and CEO, Wilson Center
Global Affairs Analyst, CNN
Contributing Writer, The Daily Beast