Recommendation 12.6: The Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Commerce should be accorded full membership on the Homeland Security Council.

As argued above, this committee believes that science and technology efforts should be a major element in homeland defense. To assure that the effort is properly coordinated, the Director of OSTP must be at least on a par with other leaders of the nation’s S&T enterprise and thus should be accorded full membership in the Homeland Security Council.

Congressional Capabilities for Supporting the S&T Strategy for Homeland Security

Congress is a key partner of the executive branch in the federal government’s management of counterterrorism programs. Thus Congress needs access to many of the same resources that support EOP. In particular, it needs analytic capabilities to support appropriations and legislative decisions for counterterrorism programs, and it needs to be able to understand their funding situations.

As noted above, many agencies have responsibilities for performing research or deploying technologies for homeland security. Thus when presidential budget proposals are transmitted to Congress, they are atomized in the present committee structure and Congress, as a whole, loses an integrated picture of the entire budget as it relates to counterterrorism. While a new Department of Homeland Security, and a corresponding reorganization of congressional committees, may reduce the number of agencies and committees whose budgets are supporting programs relevant to homeland security, the activities will still be spread across a fairly wide range of departments. Thus it will always be important for Congress to be able to determine its own view of the proper balance of resources and missions among agencies both within and outside a Department of Homeland Security.

Other commission reports have made general comments on the fact that Congress’s organization can impede its ability to deal with national-security priorities.24 This committee addressed more specific concerns—that is, how Congress can receive an integrated, coherent, and comprehensive representation of the entire federal budget as it relates to science and technology for counter-

24  

For example, the Deutch Commission Report (1999, at 7) notes that “Congressional-executive interaction is complicated by the number of congressional committees that now have oversight and budgetary authority over proliferation-related programs. Oversight from at least twenty committees heightens the need for coherent, continuous consultation between the branches.” Hart-Rudman (2001, at xvii) recommended that Congress perform a thorough review of its relationship to national security and its own committee structure, and the commission further recommended the merger of appropriations subcommittees with their respective authorizing committees.



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