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Homeland Security: Compendium of Recommendations Relevant to House Committee Organization and Analysis of Considerations for the House

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This report has been updated with an epilogue on the creation of a standing House Committee on Homeland Security in the 109th Congress. The original report was not changed its summary follows The 911 Commission and other commissions and think tanks studying homeland security recommended congressional committee reorganization to increase Congresss policy and oversight coordination. This report analyzes selected recommendations relevant to House committee reorganization. In the 108th Congress, the House created a Select Committee on Homeland Security, and charged it with studying the rules of the House with respect to the issue of homeland security. The select committee recommended a standing Committee on Homeland Security. This report digests the select committees recommendations. Before the select committee made its recommendations, one of its subcommittees held four hearings on Perspectives on House Reform. To analyze the content of these hearings, this report organizes the testimony into 10 categories. The House has tended not to change its committee structure after executive branch reorganizations. This report contains a brief history of House committees. One consideration in creating a homeland security committee relates to the concentration or dispersal of homeland security jurisdiction. The House at different times has made different decisions about concentrating or dispersing jurisdiction. A second consideration in creating a homeland security committee relates to implications of jurisdictional changes. Proponents of a new committee point to the fragmentation of jurisdiction over homeland security. Others point to the record of Congress as a strong indication that existing committees are capable of action. A third consideration in creating a homeland security committee is whether such a committee is sufficient for policymaking. Even if a new committee is created, other committees will still have jurisdiction over components of homeland security.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Civil Defense

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