S.Res. 445: Senate Committee Reorganization for Homeland Security and Intelligence Matters [October 15, 2004]   [open pdf - 37KB]

"Early in October 2004, a bipartisan Senate working group headed by Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid issued a series of recommended reforms in Senate committee operation and jurisdiction with regard to homeland security and intelligence. The working group recommendations came in the wake of the final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9/11 Commission), which urged Congress to reorganize its committee structures to oversee these issues more effectively. Following four days of debate and amendment, on October 9, 2004, the Senate passed S.Res. 445, a resolution that implemented a number of the working group's suggestions regarding Senate Committee reorganization. These changes, which take effect on the convening of the 109th Congress, include lifting term limits on service on the Senate Intelligence Committee; raising the Intelligence Committee to category 'A' status; giving the majority and minority leaders power to select the Intelligence Committee chair and vice chair; reducing the size of the panel from 17 to 15 members; and changing certain staffing processes of the Intelligence Committee. S.Res. 445 also renames the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and transfers to the new panel jurisdiction over matters relating to the Department of Homeland Security, with certain limitations. The resolution establishes a new Intelligence Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and a new Subcommittee on Oversight on the Intelligence Committee. It also makes changes to the confirmation process and the sequential referral of matters reported from the Intelligence Committee. This report will be updated in the event of further changes to these provisions."

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CRS Report for Congress, RS21955
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