Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding news that President Obama has completed nominating members to fill the vacancies of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. The board, authorized in the Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act (P.L. 110-53), advises the President and Executive Branch to ensure that privacy and civil liberties are considered with regard to implementing homeland security policy. President Obama submitted the first two nominations on December 17, 2010, but, to date, there have been no confirmation hearings. The board has not operated since 2008 given that all the positions are vacant.
"I am pleased that the President has submitted nominations to fill the vacancies on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. I urge the Senate to act quickly to review all pending nominees and take the actions necessary for this important Board to become functional. An operational and fully engaged oversight Board is necessary to ensure our homeland security policies and practices are in compliance with the civil rights and civil liberties protections enshrined in our Constitution."