[govinfo] GovInfo News 1-16-07

  • From: "Patrice McDermott" <pmcdermott@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "e-gov@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <e-gov@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 13:21:39 -0500

- House reworks security panels, top Republicans named
- U.S. Attorney Vacancies Spark Concerns

Patrice McDermott, Director
202-332-OPEN (6736)


By Chris Strohm, National Journal's Technology Daily
January 12, 2007

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson has reorganized his 
panel's subcommittee structure in an effort to improve oversight of the 
Homeland Security Department.

Thompson, D-Miss., had not announced the chairmen of each subcommittee by press 
time. But full committee ranking Republican Peter King of New York announced 
which Republicans would serve as ranking members of each subcommittee.

The panel now includes subcommittees on
Emerging Threats, Cyber Security, and Science and Technology - Mike McCaul (TX)
Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response - Charlie Dent (PA)
Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism - Mark Souder (IN)
Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection - Dan Lungren (CA)
Management, Investigations and Oversight - Dave Reichert (WA)
The Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment 
Subcommittee was kept intact.

January 16, 2007; Page A4

WASHINGTON -- As the Bush administration enters its last two years, a number of 
U.S. attorneys are departing, causing concern that some high-profile 
prosecutions may suffer.

As many as seven U.S. attorneys, including prosecutor Kevin V. Ryan, whose San 
Francisco office is overseeing the investigation of backdating of stock 
options, are leaving or being pushed out. Others include Carol Lam of San 
Diego, Daniel Bogden of Nevada, David Iglesias of New Mexico, Paul Charlton of 
Arizona and John McKay of Seattle. Ms. Lam and Messrs. Ryan and Bogden haven't 
officially announced their departures.

Democrats claim the administration is using a little-noticed clause in the 
Patriot Act to circumvent Senate confirmation for some of the interim 
replacements who otherwise might not be able to win confirmation. Senate 
Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) and Sen. Dianne 
Feinstein (D., Calif.) are pushing legislation to undo a 2006 Patriot Act 
amendment that for the first time gave the attorney general, rather than local 
federal courts, authority to appoint interim U.S. attorneys. The administration 
said it needed to be able to do that to ensure no disruption in prosecuting 
terrorism suspects.

The proposed legislation would restore to the federal courts authority to make 
the interim appointments.

There is no fixed term for U.S. attorneys. Instead, they typically are 
appointed at the beginning of a new president's term, and serve throughout that 
term. If the president is re-elected, they continue to serve, unless of course 
they decide for some reason that they want to leave.

Lawmakers plan to question Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about the turnover 
at a Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday. Justice officials say the U.S. 
attorney changes are normal and that at any one time it is common to have eight 
to 15 vacancies. Former Justice Department officials, however, say it is 
unusual for such a large number of U.S. attorneys to leave at one time.


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