A Look Ahead: House Committee on Homeland Security

Mar 16, 2012 Issues: Counterterrorism, Risk-Based Grant Funding, Oversight of DHS Management

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, announced the following upcoming Committee events:

Monday, March 19

Subcommittee Field Hearing: The Implications of Refinery Closures for U.S. Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Safety

10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 19 in the Mirenda Center for Sport, Spirituality, and Character Development at Neumann University, One Neumann Drive, Aston, PA, 19014

Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Panel I

Dr. Howard Gruenspecht
Acting Administrator
Energy Information Administration
U.S. Department of Energy

Mr. Brandon Wells
Director
Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Panel II

Mr. Charles T. Drevna
President
American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers

Mr. Robert Greco
Group Director
Downstream and Industry Operations
American Petroleum Institute

Chairman Meehan on the hearing:

“More than 30 U.S. refineries have closed in the last decade. Most recently, two Philadelphia area refineries have closed and one is scheduled to close. Together they account for 50 percent of the Northeast’s capacity. Another large refinery in the Virgin Islands has closed. This hearing will help us understand the homeland security consequences of refinery closures, both in terms of threats to critical infrastructure and our dependence on imports from unstable parts of the world.

Tuesday, March 20

Subcommittee Hearing: Ensuring the Transparency, Efficiency, and Effectiveness of Homeland Security Grants

10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20 in 311 Cannon House Office Building

Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Ms. Elizabeth Harman
Assistant Administrator
Grant Programs Directorate
Federal Emergency Management Agency
U.S.Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Corey Gruber
Assistant Administrator
National Preparedness Directorate
Federal Emergency Management Agency
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Ms. Anne Richards
Office of Inspector General
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Mr. William O. Jenkins, Jr.
Director
Homeland Security and Justice Issues
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Chairman Bilirakis on the hearing:

"In these difficult budgetary times, we must ensure that vital homeland security grant funding is allocated based on risk and every dollar is leveraged to enhance our prevention, preparedness, and response capabilities.  This hearing will examine FEMA's management and administration of homeland security grant programs to ensure these goals are met. Following up on the Subcommittee's recent hearing on the President's Fiscal Year 2013 budget for FEMA, this hearing will also give Members an opportunity to receive greater detail on the Administration's proposal to consolidate a number of grant programs into the National Preparedness Grant Program.  We must ensure that any proposals for grant reform include robust engagement with State and local stakeholders, including high-threat urban areas, port authorities, and transit agencies. This hearing is the first in a series of hearings on grants that will help inform any efforts for reform going forward."

Wednesday, March 21

Hearing: Iran, Hezbollah, and the Threat to the Homeland

9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 21 in 311 Cannon House Office Building

Committee on Homeland Security

Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Mitchell Silber

·         Director of Intelligence Analysis, NYPD Intelligence Division

·         Author, “The Al Qaeda Factor”

Chris Swecker

·         Former Assistant Director for the Criminal Investigative Division and Acting Executive Assistant Director (EAD) for Law Enforcement Services, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

·         Swecker served as FBI Special Agent-in-Charge in Charlotte, North Carolina and oversaw the investigation of a major Hezbollah cell uncovered there, known as the "Hammoud Case.”

Michael Braun

·         Managing Partner, Spectre Group International, LLC

·         Former Assistant Administrator and Chief of Operations, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Matthew Levitt

·         Director, Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

·         Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, U.S. Department of the Treasury

·         Previously provided tactical and strategic analytical support for counterterrorism operations at the FBI, focusing on fundraising and logistical support networks for Middle Eastern terrorist groups

Chairman King on the hearing:

 “The disruption last fall of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States at a popular Washington restaurant was a wake-up call for all Americans.  Last month’s forthright comments by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that the Iranian regime is ‘now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States’ has further heightened concern about an attack by Iran on the homeland.   At this hearing, we will focus on Iran’s primary terrorism proxies, including Hezbollah, which already has a robust network within the U.S., and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as the real potential that the regime will activate its network of operatives to carry out an attack here.” 

Thursday, March 22

Subcommittee Hearing: Building One DHS: Why is Employee Morale Low?

9:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 22 in 311 Cannon House Office Building

Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Admiral Thad Allen (Ret.)
Senior Vice President
Booz Allen Hamilton

Ms. Catherine Emerson
Chief Human Capital Officer
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Mr. David Maurer
Director
Homeland Security and Justice Team
Government Accountability Office

Mr. Max Stier
President and CEO
The Partnership for Public Service

Chairman McCaul on the hearing:

“Secretary Napolitano wants to build "One DHS." She cannot accomplish this while the Department consistently ranks as one of the lowest in employee morale in the U.S. Government. In the Partnership for Public Service Best Places to Work Survey, DHS ranked 31 of 33 in 2011. This is unacceptable. Our hearing will examine the cause for low morale and ways to fix the problem. We look forward to hearing the testimony of Admiral Thad Allen, a proven leader who knows how to both build morale in an organization and accomplish the mission.”

***See www.homeland.house.gov for updates.

***Coverage note:  All Committee on Homeland Security proceedings are webcast live at www.homeland.house.gov/live-video-feed.

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