House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) released the following statement regarding Secretary Napolitano's State of Homeland Security address this morning.
Chairman McCaul: "Over the past decade the Department of Homeland Security has made great strides in protecting our country by executing an unprecedented consolidation of far-reaching agencies in response to the tragedies on September 11, 2001. This consolidation has had many management challenges, and our oversight has and will continue to root out duplication and mismanagement to help DHS meet those challenges. In today's State of Homeland Security speech, Secretary Napolitano outlined many of our objectives, however what we need now are strategies and solutions using what we have learned in the past 10 years -- many of which the Department still lacks.
"I am pleased that Secretary Napolitano stressed the need to implement new technologies, such as sensor surveillance technology to better protect our borders. However, the Department still lacks a national strategy to gain operational control of our borders based on useable metrics that provide outcomes, rather than continuing to take an inaccurate measurement of security based solely on the number of resources or apprehensions. These legitimate measurable outcomes must be a prerequisite to immigration reform. While the Secretary implied that our security measures are keeping pace with evolving threats, we know that agencies like TSA have a long way to go to fully implement risk-based screening procedures.
"Secretary Napolitano rightly acknowledged the far reaching impacts of cybersecurity for the American people, and that the Department has moved to enhance its ability to respond to cyber threats. However, the Department needs the help of Congress to fully confront the threats against our critical infrastructure. The Chinese military is targeting our gas lines and power grids. Failing to give DHS the power to work with public and private partners to thwart these attacks, could have disastrous consequences for our country.
"Today our homeland faces numerous and diverse threats from all corners of the world and from within our own borders. Until our borders, airports and networks are better secured, Americans will remain at risk. Addressing national risks takes national strategies, not ad hoc programs, and 10 years after its creation, it is time for DHS to deliver these plans to the American people."