Senate panel has busy markup session

By Max Cacas

It’s been a busy morning in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee on Capitol Hill.

  • The panel has approved, and sent to the full Senate the nominations of Tara O’Toole to be the Undersecreary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security; Christine Griffin to be Deputy Director at the Office of Management and Budget; and Stuart Nash to be an associate judge for the D.C. Superior Court.
  • S.372, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009. The measure strengthens protection for federal employees who call to the attention of Congress and the public instances of waste, fraud and abuse, and gives whistleblowers the right to a jury trial in cases where they challenge personnel actions taken against them by supervisors.
  • S.1261, the PASS ID Act. This bill is designed to replace the REAL ID act adopted by the previous Congress under the Bush Administration. The REAL ID act had mandated that states improve their drivers licenses for security reasons, but states resisted, saying the measure amounted to an unfunded mandate from the Federal Government, which would be unmanageable. The REAL ID bill removes many of the states’ objections.

Because of floor votes, the committee has delayed final approval of S.1507, a bill which would permit a change in the way the Postal Service funds its pension liability to retirees. The change has been sought because of USPS’s dire fiscal situation. Committee members plan to complete work on the measure later today between floor debate and votes.


On the Web:

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee — Web site

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