Chafee To Serve On Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee was notified recently that he has been selected to serve on the newly reorganized Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs for the 109th Congress. The prestigious committee has been reorganized to oversee the sweeping changes within the recently enacted intelligence reform bill, passed by the 108th Congress in December. One of the major responsibilities transferred to the new panel is jurisdiction over matters relating to the Department of Homeland Security, with limited restrictions. As homeland security remains the top issue in the minds of the American people, Chafee was happy to hear of his appointment.
"I am very pleased to be asked to serve on this key committee. I look forward to working on the important issues of our day -- intelligence improvements, port and border security, and the appropriation of grants to make our homeland safer," Senator Chafee said.
"With this new assignment, I will be working to see that Rhode Island will benefit with the implementation of proper preparedness and response programs throughout the state, in the unfortunate event of an attack," he continued.
The new committee will have authority over almost all of the pieces of the newly formed Department of Homeland Security, including the confirmation authority of most of the Senate-confirmed positions in the Department. Other areas will include:
- The Science and Technology directorate;
- The Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection directorate;
- The Emergency Preparedness and Response directorate;
- All of the management functions of the Department;
- The Office of the Secretary;
- Most grant programs, including the Homeland Security state grants, port security grants, and others;
- The Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness; and
- The non-immigration and non-revenue/commercial functions of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection (i.e., border security and law enforcement functions).
Chafee's appointment to this committee of "A" status marks his third such committee, along with the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Environment and Public Works. The Senator will begin his service on the committee when the Senate convenes in January 2005.