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Senators question U.S. preparedness in wake of Japan's crisis

March 18, 2011 Members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday questioned which federal agency and individual within the federal government would take the lead in responding to a catastrophe like the one gripping Japan. "Is it really clear who's responsible for what if, God forbid, we had the ...

Senator seeks interagency border security task force

March 18, 2011 The U.S. government should create an interagency task force to coordinate Southwest border-security operations and resolve conflicts between agencies, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said on Thursday. Speaking at the U.S.-Mexico Congressional Border Issues Conference, Cornyn said he does not believe that the Obama administration has an adequate strategy for stopping ...

Tensions arise over revised intelligence measure

March 16, 2011 House and Senate lawmakers are moving legislation forward that would authorize programs and spending for U.S. intelligence agencies for the current fiscal year -- even though it is nearly half over. Notably, the House-version of the fiscal 2011 intelligence-authorization bill would require the Obama administration to develop a uniform system ...

Senator: Feds should "put the brakes on" new nuke plants after Japanese disaster

March 14, 2011 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., said Sunday the U.S. government should "put the brakes on" building more nuclear power plants until design plans for new facilities are reviewed in the wake of the crisis unfolding in Japan. "I don't want to stop the building ...

Short-term funding measure to prevent shutdown expected to pass

March 14, 2011 Senior lawmakers from both parties on Sunday said they believe a short-term stopgap funding bill to keep the government running will be approved this week, but they did not see an end game in sight for developing a comprehensive plan to bring down the nation's debt. The House is expected ...

Days of border security boosts appear over

February 18, 2011 Securing the nation's border is as volatile an issue as ever, but the days of throwing money at virtual fences and boosting the number of Border Patrol agents are over, at least according to President Obama's new budget. For the past few years, politicians were falling over themselves to boost ...

Senators float plan to extend anti-terrorism powers until May

February 15, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Key Democratic senators floated a proposal today to extend three expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act until May, essentially kicking the can down the road, but giving lawmakers more breathing room before the measures expire at the end of this month. In short, no changes would be made to ...

White House cuts Homeland Security, Justice grants

February 15, 2011 Faced with a stubborn Congress and a crushing national debt, the Obama administration has decided to sacrifice politically popular grant programs that aid homeland security and law enforcement agencies in its budget for the next fiscal year. The administration's fiscal 2012 budget requests for the Homeland Security Department and Justice ...

Fiscal battles loom over DHS grants, disaster assistance

February 14, 2011 The Obama administration's budget request for the Homeland Security Department will likely trigger a battle with Republicans in the coming months over how much to spend on politically popular grants and disaster assistance for communities across the country. The fiscal 2012 budget request for DHS seeks about $43.2 billion in ...

Facebook, YouTube aid in al-Qaeda's spread, study says

February 8, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, which planned and executed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has morphed into an array of regional terrorist groups that are using the Internet to recruit and train members at home, according to a report released Tuesday. The 25-page report even coins a term for the disparate groups ...