Homeland Security: Compendium of Recommendations Relevant to House Committee Organization and Analysis of Considerations for the House [December 29, 2004] [open pdf - 408KB]
"Commissions and think tanks studying homeland security have recommended congressional committee reorganization to increase Congress's policy and oversight coordination. This report analyzes selected recommendations. In the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Congress included a sense of the Congress resolution that each chamber should review its committee structure. This report identifies the definitions of homeland security included in the act. In the 108th Congress, the House created a Select Committee on Homeland Security, and charged it with studying the rules of the House with respect to the issue of homeland security. The select committee recommended a standing Committee on Homeland Security. This report digests the select committee's recommendations. Before the select committee made its recommendations, one of its subcommittees held four hearings on Perspectives on House Reform. To analyze the content of these hearings, this report organizes the testimony into 10 categories. The House has tended not to change its committee structure after executive branch reorganizations. This report contains a brief history of House committees. One consideration in creating a homeland security committee relates to the concentration or dispersal of homeland security jurisdiction. The House at different times has made different decisions about concentrating or dispersing jurisdiction. A second consideration in creating a homeland security committee relates to implications of jurisdictional changes. Proponents of a new committee point to the fragmentation of jurisdiction over homeland security. Others point to the record of Congress as a strong indication that existing committees are capable of action. A third consideration in creating a homeland security committee is whether such a committee is sufficient for policymaking. Even if a new committee is created, other committees will still have jurisdiction over components of homeland security."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32711