South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan chaired his first hearing in the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency Friday. The hearing addressed the Department of Homeland Security’s progress and shortcomings in implementing its various missions, integrating its components, and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently.
“The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 forced us to fundamentally rethink the threats our nation faces and our approach to defending the homeland,” said Duncan. “Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has a budget of almost $60 billion, employs more than 225,000 people, operates in more than 75 countries, and is the third largest federal agency. At a time when our nation stands at over $16 trillion in debt, we cannot afford the luxury of spending on programs that do not meet core mission priorities.”
One of the witnesses testifying before the subcommittee was former VA Governor Jim Gilmore who shared his concerns about department efficiency. “Al-Qaeda has said in their public statements that their goal is to collapse the economy of the United States…if we waste money or carry out an ineffective program…then we carry out the mission of Al-Qaeda,” said Governor Gilmore. “That’s why this Committee’s work is so important.”
Congressman Duncan also brought up the subject of civil liberties during the hearing.
“Oversight to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent effectively is an important part and role of Congress. The protection of civil liberties is, in my opinion, just as important.” Duncan said.
“I also look forward to strong bipartisan cooperation in helping to make the Department of Homeland Security as efficient and effective as possible,” said Duncan.