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Dysfunctional oversight undermines security

Today I wrote in The Hill about a persistent threat the Department of Homeland Security faces. This isn’t a threat from ISIS or al-Qaeda, but rather one that emanates from Capitol Hill. DHS reports to over 100 committees and subcommittees in Congress and I assert that this has a detrimental effect on the Department, and the nation’s security.

Consider the subject of the Congressional hearing on Monday:

With the Secret Service’s missteps dominating headlines, one would hope that Congress is undertaking a rational approach to addressing the agency’s shortcomings through robust oversight and, if necessary, policy prescriptions. But because the Homeland Security Committee does not have jurisdiction over the Secret Service, the panel is forced to compete with others that assert their authority over the agency with impunity. For example, it was the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, rather than the Homeland Security Committee, that held the spirited hearing on the Secret Service earlier this week. And subsequently the dueling committee chairmen separately proposed independent reviews of the agency.

This dispersed oversight, with committee chairs vying for control, benefits no one. Now is the time for Congress to address this threat to our security. See my entire article here.

Daniel Kaniewski is a Senior Fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute.