Collins, Lieberman Request Input From Colleagues

WASHINGTON – Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins, R-Me., and Ranking Member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., are asking relevant Senate Chairmen and Ranking Members for their input, as they craft legislation to reorganize the federal government’s 15 intelligence agencies.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., asked the Governmental Affairs Committee to submit legislation regarding reorganization of the executive branch to the full Senate by Oct. 1. The Committee has held two hearings and has scheduled two additional hearings in mid-August.

In an effort to use the full range of knowledge within the Senate, Collins and Lieberman sought input from the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Intelligence, Appropriations, Armed Services, Budget, Commerce, Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Banking, Energy, and Finance Committees.

“As we conduct hearings on the Commission’s recommendations, and as we begin the process of drafting legislation, we invite you to share your views on the 9-11 Commission’s recommendation regarding executive branch restructuring, particularly as they relate to entities within your Committee’s jurisdiction,” Collins and Lieberman wrote. “We know that your committee has considerable expertise, and so we would appreciate the benefit of your counsel.”

Legislation drafted by the Committee will center on creation of a National Intelligence Director and a National Counterterrorism Center.

In addition, Collins and Lieberman invited Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., to participate in the process by joining members of the Governmental Affairs Committee in questioning witnesses at an August 16 hearing expected to focus on the insights of former intelligence leaders.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with you on this important undertaking,” Collins and Lieberman wrote in a separate letter.

Attached is the letter sent to the 10 Committee Chairs and Ranking Members.