Rogers at Worldwide Threats Hearing: “The Majority has Chosen to Play Politics”
WASHINGTON – Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), House Homeland Security Committee ranking member, gave the following opening statement at a committee hearing entitled “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland.”
The Ranking Member’s remarks as prepared for delivery below:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Since the heinous attacks of September 11th, we have made great strides to thwart global jihadist operations and stop threats before they reach our shores.
However, today, global jihadists are joined by cyber hackers, rival nation-states, and transnational criminal organizations.
Together, they present incredible new risks to our economy, our safety, and our way of life.
Make no mistake, the threats to our homeland have never been more real than they are today.
That’s whys it’s so important that we as Members of this Committee understand those threats.
It’s our job to ensure DHS, FBI, and our intelligence community have the resources and authorities they need to continue to dismantle terrorist organizations and protect the homeland.
I look forward to hearing more about how the Administration is countering the threat from Al Qaeda, China, Iran and others who seek to do us harm.
Mr. Chairman, I am also disappointed DHS is not here today.
But I want the record to be very clear on why DHS is not represented.
It is not the fault of the Department or this Administration.
Acting Secretary Wolf offered to testify before the Committee in both July and August.
Unfortunately, the majority refused to make either of those dates work.
Now, due to his nomination, Mr. Wolf is prohibited from testifying under a policy that’s been in place in both Republican and Democrat administrations for decades.
Nevertheless, due to the significance of today’s hearing, the Department offered to have Mr. Cuccinelli testify.
He’s the second highest ranking official at DHS and perfectly qualified and informed on today’s subject matter.
I ask unanimous consent to include his testimony in the record.
He should be here today providing the Department’s perspective on the threats we face and what DHS is doing to counter them.
But instead of having a productive hearing with Mr. Cuccinelli, the Chairman chose to subpoena and then empty chair Mr. Wolf.
This political stunt is a huge disservice to our Committee and the public.
This is the single most important hearing we hold in this Committee.
But unfortunately, as with most things this Congress, the majority has chosen to play politics.
As a result, the public is being deprived of critical information from DHS.
Perhaps that’s the real reason why the majority didn’t want Mr. Cuccinelli here today.
Having the public hear about all the good things DHS is doing to protect them might undermine the radical left’s latest rallying cry – “Dismantle DHS!”.
Fortunately, Director Wray and Director Miller are here today to provide us with their valuable perspectives.
I look forward to hearing from you both on how the threats against us are evolving and what actions Congress can take to assist you in combatting them.
I yield back.