Congressman Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, vowed to collaborate with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on the revamping of the House of Representatives' committees and subcommittees that have jurisdiction over homeland security issues following King's review of the latest 9-11 Commission Report.
Rep. King's (R-NY) promise came Thursday in response to the 9/11 Commission's report, which revealed allegations that millions of dollars were wasted and the nation's security has been jeopardized because of the antiquated structure of congressional oversight with regards to homeland security matters.
For example, the appropriation for installation of a "virtual border fence" on the U.S.-Mexico borderline was terminated after the U.S. government spent $1 billion on systems that either failed to operate properly or were deemed obsolete by the time they were installed. Congressmen on the several subcommittees should have been overseeing the border project from the beginning.
In the past, there were calls to reorganize the House Homeland Security Committee and its sub-committees -- Border and Maritime Security; Counterterrorism and Intelligence Cybersecurity; Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies; Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications; Oversight, Investigations, and Management; and Transportation Security -- almost from the moment the department was created.
"Efforts to reorganize congressional oversight of the Department of Homeland Security are nearly as old as the department itself, but have all failed due to political infighting and the reluctance of high-ranking lawmakers to concede their committee's jurisdiction," according to the 9/11 Commission Report.
Millions of taxpayer dollars are wasted each year, according to the report, which claims that DHS provided nearly 4,000 briefings to lawmakers in the 111th Congress and sent official witnesses to testify more than 285 times.
"This amounted to many thousands of hours of work, often duplicating efforts, and cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars," the Commission alleged in its report.
The report also analyzes the ongoing problem of congressional overlap. As an example, it noted that one committee deals with the security of air-bound cargo, while another committee oversees sea-bound cargo.
"The security of cargo should not depend on whether it moves by air or sea and the committee that has jurisdiction over the agency that regulates that method of transit," the commission states.
Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, and he's a columnist for Examiner.com. In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.