Don't consolidate House DHS oversight into the House Homeland Security Committee

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Chances of consolidating House oversight of the Homeland Security Department this Congress appear slim, say lawmakers quoted in The Hill.

And oversight of DHS is fractured and appears excessive, with Congress having consolidated executive branch homeland security functions into the department without a corresponding consolidation of its committees.

But there would be significant downsides to aggregating homeland security oversight in the House to the House Homeland Security Committee--including the big one that the House Homeland Security Committee would really be in charge of it.

Over the past 2 years, the conduct of the committee has been less than stellar. It's offered a platform for paranoia about the role of Muslims in American society, sought to conflate the war against al Qaeda and its affiliates with a war on Islam, actively looked for new enemies it could frighten the American people with, and twisted precise language about Customs and Border Protection southwestern border operations to paint a false picture of border security. No wonder House leadership ignores it.

True, this new Congress means a new chairman--one who hasn't in the past defended a terrorist organization (as departing chairman Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) did for the Irish Republican Army). But incoming chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) has already said his share of crazy things, such as calling for the designation of Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations. Not all evil organizations or people are terrorists, if the term is to have any meaning.

Fractured oversight is bad--but do we really want consolidated oversight in that organization? Nope. - Dave