McCaul: Priorities from the Homeland Security Committee’s New Chairman

And, an update on the Fiscal Cliff

By Cong. Michael McCaul

Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week Speaker Boehner and the rest of my House Republican colleagues elected me to be the next Chairman of the full Homeland Security Committee when the 113th Congress convenes in January.  On my watch, we will make progress securing the border, and I have already conveyed this to Secretary Napolitano.  

The Committee’s primary function is to provide oversight of the Department of Homeland Security.  I am grateful for this vote of confidence of by peers.

Our nation faces a variety of homeland security challenges.  My priorities on the committee will reflect the four major threats we face.

  • First is the traditional al Qaeda/Hezbollah threat.
  • Second is the border.
  • Third is the cyber security threat, most recently evidenced by Iran’s attack on Saudi Aramco and the American banking system.
  • The fourth threat is the department itself.

It is mismanaged and dysfunctional.  It wastes tax dollars and undermines its ability to protect the homeland.

It is the responsibility of our Committee to provide oversight to ensure the Department of Homeland Security is managed with efficiency and integrity so that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, that leadership is accountable and that DHS’ rank and file are adequately supported to accomplish their important mission of protecting the homeland.  DHS needs a top to bottom independent review of its management.

Last week the House passed my legislation, the DHS Accountability Act, which calls for such a review.

Texas is rich with critical infrastructure and potential terrorist targets including the Port of Houston and adjacent petrochemical facilities.  Our border, as described in the Line in the Sand report I published last month, remains a gateway for the undetected entry of Mexican drug cartels and terrorist operatives who have increased their presence in Latin America.

In addition, having four chairmen of House committees indicates our state’s clout in Washington is on the rise again after suffering from ‘Bush fatigue’.

I look forward to working with the administration and partnering with our community and industry stakeholders who count on the federal government to provide oversight and implement sensible policy.

Update on the Fiscal Cliff
The Speaker has asked the President to help find spending reductions to eliminate our excessive deficits.  This is in return for tax reform, including the elimination of tax loopholes.

While the President says he is looking for a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction, he has demanded even more in taxes than just allowing the top tax rate to increase.  And, he has suggested additional stimulus spending without offering any substantive cuts.

I believe that if we close loopholes, we must also reduce the tax rates.  And there should be no revenue increase without a dollar for dollar cut in spending.

If a deal is not reached by the end of the year, taxes on all Americans will increase by an average of $3,400 a year.


Congressman Michael McCaul represents Texas’ 10th Congression District.

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