Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of Homeland Security Oversight & Investigations, issued the following statement on the Department of Homeland Security's position and refusal to send a witness to tomorrow's hearing on the domestic use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones). The press advisory for tomorrow's hearing follows.
Statement by Chairman McCaul: "DHS seems either disinterested or unprepared to step up to the plate to address the proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Systems in U.S. air space, the potential threats they pose to our national security, and the concerns of our citizens of how drones flying over our cities will be used. I am concerned DHS isreverting back to a pre-9/11 mindset, which the 9/11 Commission described as a lack of imagination in identifying threats and protecting the homeland.
"Four years ago the Government Accountability Office recommended DHS assess security implications of routine UAS access to the national airspace and take appropriate actions. However, in discussions with my Subcommittee staff prior to this hearing, Department officials repeatedly stated the Department does not see this function as part of its mission. I strongly disagree.
"DHS's lack of attention to this issue is incomprehensible. It should not take a 9/11 style attack by a terrorist organization such as Hezbollah or a lone wolf inspired event to cause DHS to develop guidance addressing the security implications of domestic drones. It should not take a hearing to force DHS to develop policy when it comes to securing our homeland. This is yet another example of how DHS leadership is failing to get ahead of the curve on an issue, which directly impacts the security of the United States."