Exercising congressional oversight authority provides lawmakers a critical tool to keep the federal government on its toes. As the counterterrorism campaign continues, lawmakers are reviewing changes made after 9/11 to beef up homeland security, including efforts to improve communications between federal-state-and local authorities and emergency preparedness in communities across the country. Border patrol agents, sky marshals, food safety inspectors, first-responders and law enforcement authorities are on the job 24/7 to protect the American public. Congress approved a new Cabinet-level department to keep government officials who have a role in homeland security under one roof to improve accountability.
Through oversight work in Congress, Senator Grassley is keeping close tabs on the new Department of Homeland Security to curb turf battles that may impede rather than improve domestic security and emergency preparedness, protect whistleblowers, and ensure we strike a proper balance between border/trade security and the smooth flow of goods and services so important to the U.S. economy.
As Congress debates measures to enhance homeland security, Senator Grassley works to make sure would-be terrorists don’t use the nation’s visa program to circumvent U.S. immigration laws. He is pushing legislation that would allow foreigners whose visas are revoked to be deported immediately. Under current law, a potential terrorist can take advantage of the U.S. court system to avoid deportation.
In town meetings with Iowans, Grassley hears deeply held concerns about the loss of life and cost of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some genuinely feel the sacrifice isn’t worth it.
Senator Grassley is concerned America would pay an even heavier price and put future generations at even greater risk if the United States would surrender to freedom-hating terrorists, insurgents and Islamic extremists who want to wipe America and Western Civilization off the face of the Earth.
As a federal lawmaker who helps determine how tax dollars are raised and spent, Iowans know Senator Grassley will not support writing blank checks either. He will keep an open mind as the war on terror and counterterrorism campaign continues to unfold.
In the meantime, he'll also continue working with state and local officials in Iowa to ensure authorities are receiving federal assistance to implement emergency preparedness plans.
Senator Grassley supported renewal of the Patriot Act in 2006 to give the Central Intelligence Agency, FBI and Homeland Security Department tools to track down terrorists and protect national security. At the same time, he supports rigorous oversight efforts to keep the federal bureaucracy accountable for abuses of authority. (Link: Judiciary Hearing Statement, March 21, 2007.)