Collins Appointed To Task Force Charged With Reforming Senate Oversight Of Intelligence & Homeland Security

Washington, DC – Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) was appointed today by Senate leadership to a bipartisan Senate working group that will examine how best to implement the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations that deal with reform of the Senate’s oversight of intelligence and homeland security. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) charged the group with examining the recommendations and reporting its findings to Senate leadership as expeditiously as possible.

Other Senators appointed to the working group are: Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Harry Reid (D-NV), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), John Warner (R-VA), Carl Levin (D-MI), Trent Lott (R-MS), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Pat Roberts (R-KS), John Rockefeller (D-WV), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Charles Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Joseph Biden (D-DE), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and Patty Murray (D-WA).

“Congressional oversight of the intelligence and homeland security communities was the third major reform piece recommended by the 9/11 Commission. It is an important task – and a complicated one – that can only be done successfully in a bipartisan manner with broad input from all relevant interests,” said Senator Collins.

“This is an opportunity for us in the Senate to prove that there really are no turf battles here and no protection of personal interests, but that our paramount goal is to do the work we are charged with doing to make this country safer,” added Senator Collins. “I look forward to working with my distinguished colleagues in taking on this important task.”

Senator Collins is the Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Senate leadership also gave the Governmental Affairs the responsibility to examine two key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, to create a National Intelligence Director and a National Counterterrorism Center, and to present legislation to the full Senate by October 1st.

On Thursday, August 26th, the Senate Governmental Affairs is holding the fifth in a series of hearings to examine the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission in preparation for drafting legislation to reform the intelligence community.