Lieberman pushing for authorization bill

Jan. 7, 2009 at 5:58 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Tuesday that the top priority of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is completing an authorization bill.

Lieberman, I-Conn., who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, met Tuesday with Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of homeland security. After the meeting, Lieberman said a top priority for his committee is to mark up an authorization bill, CongressDaily reported.

Early work on an authorization bill would mark a shift in the committee's priorities. Since the creation of the Homeland Security Department, the Senate has never completed an authorization bill.

Lieberman said the Senate Homeland Security Committee should model the high-level priority for working on an authorization bill on the Armed Services Committee's work on the Defense Department authorization bill. Lieberman said doing so would better outline homeland security policy objectives.

"I want us to begin to do a Department of Homeland Security authorization bill ... to reach some conclusions about both the resource needs of the department before the appropriators appropriate and also about policy changes that may make sense for the department," Lieberman said in a statement, according to CongressDaily.

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