The House Homeland Security chairman criticizes the White House's new homeland security strategy and prods the Homeland Security chief to get things done.
Yesterday, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chided the White House for its overly broad homeland security strategy released the same day and implored it and the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to tackle specific vulnerabilities in the nation's security.
Here are excerpts from Thompson's comments to the Bush Administration from his press release :
The reality is that this Strategy provides little guidance for the deficiencies already taxing our homeland security capacity, while at the same time, it attempts to define successes in border security, information sharing, and biopreparedness, which have not yet been realized.
On September 5, I presented Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff with a To-Do list of 6 points critical to achieving homeland security. The list includes programs and initiatives that this White House Homeland Security Strategy seems to gloss over. I only wish the White House spent as much time addressing these known vulnerabilities as it has producing this Strategy update.
Thompson's "Chertoff To-Do List " lays out six tasks needing immediate attention by DHS. They are:
UPDATE: In early September, Chertoff testified before the committee and defended his department's record and spoke of its successes. Read his full prepared remarks here .