Lawmakers head for homeland retreat

March 3, 2005 at 7:44 PM

WASHINGTON, March 3 (UPI) -- The 34 members of the House Committee on Homeland Security will head to the swank Wye River resort Monday for a two-day bipartisan retreat.

"We are looking forward to this retreat and working together with this Congress," said Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., the committee chairman, and his Democratic opposite number, Mississippi congressman Bennie Thompson, in a statement. "The retreat will provide the Committee's members the opportunity to discuss our agenda for the 109th Congress."

Congressional aides told United Press International that the idea for the getaway emerged in conversations between the two men and that the lawmakers' discussions would address the changing nature of the terrorist threat and their plans for hearings and other activities of the committee.

The committee was made permanent -- and given expanded jurisdiction -- last year after the Sept. 11 commission identified the fragmented oversight of the new Department of Homeland Security as a major impediment to its work.

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