Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2021
S M T W T F S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Congress

Oversight Report Blasts Homeland Security for Failing on All Its Missions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Homeland Security has failed on all five of its main missions, according to a scathing oversight report by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, Fox News reports. 

“Ten years of oversight of the Department of Homeland Security finds that the Department still has a lot of work to do to strengthen our nation’s security,” Coburn said.  “Congress needs to review the Department’s mission and programs and refocus DHS on national priorities where DHS has a lead responsibility.”

One unanswered question, according to the report, is whether the $50 billion that Homeland Security spent in the past 11 years on counterterrorism made the country any safer.

The report also criticizes Homeland Security for failing to properly protect the borders and combat cyber-attacks.

Still, Coburn said the future is bright if Congress acts quickly to resolve the problems.

“I am confident that Secretary Jeh Johnson is leading the Department in the right direction,” Coburn said.  “One of the biggest challenges that Sec. Johnson and DHS face is Congress and its dysfunctional approach to setting priorities for the Department.  Congress needs to work with the Department to refocus its missions on national priorities and give Secretary Johnson the authority to lead and fix the Department.”

Other Stories of Interest

 

President George W. Bush Paved Way for Weakened Secret Service

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Secret Service’s ability to carry out its duties to protect the president was compromised by the expansion of duties in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Washington Post reports.

That explains the recent string of embarrassing security lapses, the Post reported, citing interviews and government documents.

Under expansions approved by Congress and President George W. Bush, the agency began stretching responsibilities to include more monitoring of large sporting events and other big gatherings. The agency also took charge of tracking cyberthreats against U.S., and around-the-clock protection was extended to more people.

Those responsibilities came even as the agency’s ranks were diminished by early retirements.

“We are not the Super Bowl team we once were,” Dan Emmett, a former Secret Service supervisor, said in a recent interview with The Washington Post.

Congress Is About to Block the Feds from Cracking Down on Medical Marijuana

By Tim Burger
Vice

WASHINGTON –– On the eve of the deadline to pass spending legislation that will avoid another government shutdown debacle, Congress appears poised to send a bill to President Obama that would ban the Department of Justice from meddling with state medical marijuana laws.

Tucked at the bottom of page 213 o​f the latest omnibus appropriations bill, a provision states that “[n]one of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used… to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana,” listing 32 states, as well as the District of Columbia, where the amendment would apply.

To read the full story click here. 

GOP Lawmakers Consider Ways to Disrupt President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

While Congressional Republicans pledge to fight President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, there’s little they can do, GOP leaders acknowledged Tuesday.

The USA Today reports that Republicans have limited options.

“We’re looking at a variety of options, both for right now and when Republicans control both houses of the Congress next year,” said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, “Frankly, we have limited options and limited abilities to deal with it directly.”

One plan calls for a government funding bill, but that could result in another partial government shutdown.

Republicans are considering approving a temporary funding bill for Homeland Security, which oversees immigration.

Democrats were not happy. Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said a temporary funding bill for DHS “undermines its ability to carry out critical homeland security missions such as protecting our air, land and sea borders and cyberspace.”

President Obama’s Immigration Plan Would Shield 5 Million People from Deportation

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama unveiled his plan to reshape the nation’s immigration system during a 15-minute address from the White House.

Tired of Congressional gridlock, Obama said he is issuing an executive order and all but challenged Republicans to come up with a different plan, the New York Times reports.

Under his plan, up to five million people will be shielded from deportation, but the president offered no path to citizenship.

“The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half-century,” Obama said. “To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

President Obama is expected to spend the next several months convincing Americans that his plan is good and lawful. He’ll be speaking today at a high school in Las Vegas, where Hispanics have growing influence.

Republicans argue the president is abusing his office and pledged a Congressional battle.

 

Justice Department Releases 64,000+ Pages of Fast & Furious Documents to U.S. House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After resisting for years, the Justice Department finally sent Congress 64,280 pages of documents involving the botched Fast and Furious investigation on Tuesday, the Washington Times reports.

The disclosure prompted Republicans to assert that President Obama was acknowledging he had withheld the documents illegally by claiming executive privilege.

The House of Representatives even sued for the documents’ release.

“When Eric Holder wants to know why he was the first attorney general held in criminal contempt of Congress, he can read the judge’s order that compelled the production of 64,280 pages that he and President Obama illegitimately and illegally withheld from Congress,” said Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

The administration is not backing down from its position that the documents did not need to be released.

Former Secret Service Agent Believes He’s Going to Pull Off Upset in Congressional Race

Daniel Bongino

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 
A former Secret Service agent for President Obama is expressing optimism that he is going to win Maryland’s Sixth District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in what he characterizes “a huge upset,” WND.com reports.

Daniel Bongino, the Republican candidate, said he’s feeling good about his chances.

“I can comfortably tell you right now there is nothing we could have done to work harder,” Bongino said. “I just got back yesterday from Montgomery County, in the pouring rain. It was 40 degrees. I’m sick as a dog right now, and I’m driving in the western Maryland mountains, getting ready to wash, rinse and repeat, so there’s no more effort we could have given.”

His biggest issue is tax-and-spend policies.

“Our economy is being suffocated right now by a government that absolutely thinks it can spend your money better than you can,” he said.

Bongino is known for writing a 2013 New York Times bestselling book “Life Inside the Bubble.”

He’s still up against a fierce challenge. Incumbent Democrat Rep. John Delaney won the district by 21 points just two years ago, WND wrote.

Stories of Other Interest


Congress Should Return Secret Service to Treasury’s Oversight After Blunders

secret service photo

Michael D. Langan
Special to the Buffalo News

It is time for Treasury defenders in Congress to return the Secret Service to Treasury’s oversight.

When I served as senior adviser to the under secretary for enforcement at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 1988 to 1998, the Secret Service was one of the proud standard bearers of the best agencies that the federal government could offer to its citizens.

It has been in decline lately because of a breakdown in leadership, morale, procedures and protocols.

As a result, the issue of who should oversee the Secret Service is on the front burner again.

Should it continue to be overseen by the Department of Homeland Security, as it has for the past 11 years, or return to the Treasury Department, where it resided for 138 years?

Here is some recent history.

The 9/11 Commission, established in 2002, recommended that the Secret Service and other elements of federal law enforcement be placed in a new, massive entity, the Department of Homeland Security. Ostensibly, this meant that law enforcement decision-making could be captured in one place without the problems of competing bureaucracies.

The commission’s intent was to make the United States safer from terrorist attacks after 9/11. Despite Homeland Security’s good efforts, things haven’t worked out for the Secret Service or, it seems, for other law enforcement agencies put in that same department. It could be argued that there are more competing bureaucracies within Homeland Security than before the mergers.

Sometimes bigger isn’t better; it’s bad. Confusion can reign because of conflicting rules, internal squabbles, budget insufficiencies and overlapping jurisdictions.

To read more click here.