With win, King in line to lead Homeland Security committee againBy TOM BRUNE
November 3, 2010
WASHINGTON - The interception of package bombs from Yemen last week adds to a heavy agenda for Rep. Pete King as he prepares to again become chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
King said he's more than willing to work with the Obama administration on problems such as cargo security, but he also vows to tackle its controversial policies and to re-examine its handling of domestic terror.
"We will definitely work to stop the Obama administration's plans to transfer Guantánamo detainees, like [self-professed 9/11 plotter] Khalid Sheik Mohammed and others, to the U.S. and put them on trial in civilian courts," he said. "We will have significant hearings on these topics, as well as the attack at Fort Hood."
With the GOP takeover of the House Tuesday, the Seaford Republican is expected to pick up where he left off four years ago when he led the committee for a year, before Democrats took control of the House.
Despite his efforts, he failed to push through a reauthorization of the Homeland Security Department, something he said he might again tackle. And King said he wants to consolidate the dozens of committees and subcommittees that have oversight of DHS.
In a telephone interview, King made clear he intends to use the position to prod Congress and the public to remember the need for a vigorous DHS. As the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks recede in memory, the sense of urgency wanes, he said.
"I would hope that I could use the committee as a pulpit, if you will, to remind Congress how serious this is," King said.