United States Senate
|Formed||October 9, 2004|
|Succeeded||Committee on the District of Columbia (1816)|
Committee on Post Office and Civil Service (1816)
Committee on Retrenchment (1842)
Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments (1921)
Committee on Government Operations (1952)
Committee on Governmental Affairs (1978)
|Chair||Gary Peters (D) |
Since February 3, 2021
|Ranking member||Rob Portman (R) |
Since February 3, 2021
|Political parties||Majority (7)
|Policy areas||Accounting standards, Census, Compliance audit, Federal civil service, Federal Protective Service, Federal statistics, Financial audit, Freedom of information, Government of the District of Columbia, Governmental accounting, Homeland security, Mail, National archives, Nuclear export policy, Organization and reorganization of the executive branch of government, Performance audit, Public procurement, Records management, United States budget process|
|Oversight authority||Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, Government Accountability Office, Federal Emergency Management Agency, General Services Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, Office of E-Government & Information Technology, Office of Federal Financial Management, Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Postal Regulatory Commission, United States Capitol Police, United States Census Bureau, United States Office of Management and Budget, United States Office of Personnel Management, United States Postal Service, United States Secret Service, Washington, D.C., White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs|
|House counterpart||House Committee on Homeland Security, House Committee on Oversight and Reform|
|340 Dirksen Senate Office Building|
The United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is the chief oversight committee of the United States Senate. It has jurisdiction over matters related to the Department of Homeland Security and other homeland security concerns, as well as the functioning of the government itself, including the National Archives, budget and accounting measures other than appropriations, the Census, the federal civil service, the affairs of the District of Columbia and the United States Postal Service. It was called the United States Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs before homeland security was added to its responsibilities in 2004. It serves as the Senate's chief investigative and oversight committee. Its chair is the only Senate committee chair who can issue subpoenas without a committee vote.
While elements of the Committee can be traced back into the 19th century, its modern origins began with the creation of the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments on April 18, 1921. The Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Department was renamed the Committee on Government Operations in 1952, which was reorganized as the Committee on Governmental Affairs in 1978. After passage of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the Committee became the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and added homeland security to its jurisdiction.
Of the five current subcommittees, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is the oldest and most storied, having been created at the same time as the Committee on Government Operations in 1952. The Subcommittee on the Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia was established after the creation of the Committee on Governmental Affairs in 1978. The Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security was created in 2003.
Two ad hoc subcommittees were established in January 2007 to reflect the Committee's expanded homeland security jurisdiction. They were the Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and the Subcommittee on State, Local, and Private Sector Preparedness and Integration. The Subcommittee on Contracting was added in 2009. In 2011, the Disaster and State, Local, and Private Sector subcommittees were merged to form the Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs.
Over the years, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and its predecessors have dealt with a number of important issues, including government accountability, Congressional ethics, regulatory affairs, and systems and information security. In 2003, after the Homeland Security Act of 2002 established the Department of Homeland Security, the Committee adopted primary oversight of the creation and subsequent policies, operations, and actions of the Department.
In the past decade, the committee has focused particularly on the Department of Homeland Security's ability to respond to a major catastrophe, such as Hurricane Katrina; the rise of homegrown terrorism in the United States; and the vulnerabilities of the nation's most critical networks, those operating systems upon which our national defense, economy, and way of life depend, such as the power grid, water treatment facilities, transportation and financial networks, nuclear reactors, and dams.
In February 2014, staff working for committee ranking member Senator Tom Coburn issued a report raising concerns that some passwords protecting highly sensitive government data "wouldn’t pass muster for even the most basic civilian email account."
In accordance of Rule XXV(k) of the United States Senate, all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating primarily to the following subjects is referred to the Senate Homeland Security Committee:
The committee also has the duty of:
Main article: 117th United States Congress
|Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight||Maggie Hassan (D-NH)||Rand Paul (R-KY)|
|Government Operations and Border Management||Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)||James Lankford (R-OK)|
|Investigations (Permanent)||Jon Ossoff (D-GA)||Ron Johnson (R-WI)|
|Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management||Rand Paul (R-KY)||Maggie Hassan (D-NH)|
|Investigations (Permanent)||Rob Portman (R-OH)||Tom Carper (D-DE)|
|Government Operations and Border Management||James Lankford (R-OK)||Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)|