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  • Too Many Chiefs, Not Enough Leadership in Homeland Security Oversight

    NPR put out a story this week on congressional oversight of homeland security. Currently, 108 Committees and Subcommittees have oversight over the Department of Homeland Security. The story includes a diagram of this oversight that should make heads spin.

    For some, this might seem like cute clip-art, but this is actually a nightmare for policy implementation at DHS. The oversight is a huge workload for the Department—and it also leads to conflicting messages from Congress. For example, one committee says X, another subcommittee says Y, and neither Committee nor Subcommittee has anything to do with homeland security. What’s a Department to do?

    Not surprisingly, there isn’t a lot of desire in Congress to fix the problem. Having oversight over the Department gives Members the opportunity to look good on security—something that often equates to votes on Election Day. So in an election year, with incumbents widely unpopular, this oversight issue isn’t likely to change—at least not without a push by top-level leaders of Congress.

    Yet, time and time again, Congress has reminded the nation that our security is dependent on DHS getting policy right. Congress, however, must do its part.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Too Many Chiefs, Not Enough Leadership in Homeland Security Oversight

    1. Rich Stewart says:

      "… this oversight issue isn’t likely to change—at least not without a push by top-level leaders of Congress."

      A. None of the politicians in positions of seniority in Congress are leaders… none of them could so much as lead a thirsty horse to water. These people can’t even manage their staff. They have a career professional staff person as a chief of staff that does that. They manage nothing. Moving from the consideration of one act of legislative cowardice to the next is just that, cowardice.

      B. Assuming for the moment that there actually were top-level leaders in Congress, the chances of them even understanding the problem illustrated here is pretty close to zero. If you don’t understand the problem, you certainly can’t fix it.

      C. There will be no noticeable change in this until “We the People” start managing these people who are supposed to be working for us. Unfortunately that will take some time and meanwhile these clueless, pompous, committee posturing fools could end up getting a lot of people killed. People in DHS hired to be our first line of defense against foreign and domestic bad guys are so busy defending themselves from the threat of the overwhelming ignorance/disregard of consequences and vanity of Congress that they have precious little time to devote to defending us.

    2. Kansas says:

      After carefully viewing the diagram I believe that they missed a couple committees. ;-)

    3. George Colgrove says:

      Do we need any better example that the US Government is out of control. Taxes go up, earnings go down. Housing continues to go down. People are pulling as much of their earnings into this year for tax purposes. When main street revenues going to plumment in 2011, the federal government will not be bringing in the funds they think they are. This example shows that Congress is sucking up the federal budget, an over employed federal government are sucking in the budget. 1000's of programs are sucking up the budget. We are still bailing out bad loans and companies. This country altready is out of cash. When will government catch up? It is time to not only reduce/remove overlapping oversight in this sense, but also to reduce.remove what is being overlooked!

    4. Billie says:

      Too much government, not enough FREEDOM!

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