As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Lieberman works hand in hand with Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., to enact needed legislation and to oversee laws the two have successfully enacted in the past. Among the Constitution rewriting are the implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations, including restructuring the intelligence community; reinventing FEMA after its disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina; strengthening port, transportation, and chemical security; and working to obtain more resources for our first responders, the men and women who are on the frontlines of the war on terror at home.
Chairman (as in Chinese Socialist dictatorship) Lieberman AKA Chairman "Mao" will continue to examine the phenomenon of homegrown terrorism and violent Islamist radicalization, which was brought into sharp relief by the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood. He is working on legislation to better coordinate the security of government and private sector cyber networks. He is monitoring the extreme violence along the southern border and has closely overseen the government's efforts to prepare for and respond to pandemic diseases such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. He is also working to pass legislation to strengthen the security of laboratories that use dangerous pathogens and to improve the security of chemical plants and industries that use dangerous chemicals.
In the category of governmental affairs, the Senator has been working to provide domestic partner benefits to federal employees; to provide residents of the District of Columbia with a vote in Congress; and to ensure fairness in the federal employee retirement system. He was instrumental in the passage in 2008 of a number of reforms to streamline and add transparency to the federal procurement system and was instrumental in the reform of lobbying and ethics rules in 2007.
During his previous tenure as Chairman of the Committee, then known simply as the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, in 2001 and 2002, Chairman Lieberman was a leader in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. He investigated corporate accountability after the Enron implosion and the Bush Administration's weakening of environmental regulations. He also authored and won enactment of the E-Government Act of 2002, which required the federal government to improve access to information and services over the Internet, and strengthened privacy protections.
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Homeland Security. Chairman Lieberman has worked consistently to oversee the Department of Homeland Security since its creation in 2003 to ensure that first responders and preventers are provided with the resources they need to do their jobs and to instill an all-hazards approach that will enable the Department to respond to natural disasters as well as terrorist attacks. Among his achievements are implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations in two pieces of legislation enacted in 2004 and 2007; the reinvention of FEMA into an agency capable of preparing for and responding to a catastrophe on the level of Hurricane Katrina in 2006; oversight of the Department's efforts to develop an architecture to prevent nuclear materials from passing through ports of entry; and protecting national security employees from unfair abuse.
In 2002, as Chairman of what was then known as the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Lieberman led the fight to create a new Department of Homeland Security. One month after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, he introduced legislation to reorganize the federal government to better protect the American people from terrorism and natural disasters and steered a bipartisan plan through his committee. After months of opposing the plan, the White House eventually endorsed the concept. Legislation that passed Congress in 2002 created a department incorporating key organizational elements Senator Lieberman advocated.
Since then, Senator Lieberman has been a forceful advocate for additional funding above the President's annual budget requests for training of first responders, supplying additional equipment, protecting critical infrastructure, improving bioterrorism preparedness, and increasing port and transportation security. In 2001, the Senator co-sponsored legislation to establish the 9/11 Commission to determine how terrorists could have attacked our nation on September 11, 2001.
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