Washington (CNN) - Ten years after its formation, the Transportation Security Administration on Wednesday got the type of birthday card no one wants to receive - a blistering report from Republican lawmakers who said the agency is "bloated" and "inefficient" and has done little, if anything, to improve aviation security.
Rep. John Mica, R-Florida, a longtime critic who has fought to privatize TSA screening jobs, said Congress never intended the agency it created in November 2001 to "mushroom" into a workforce of 65,000 employees, "top heavy" with bureaucrats.
(CNN) - The economy will be issue No. 1 in the presidential contest. But national security will be important, as well, and we just got a preview of the political debate that will unfold between President Obama and his Republican challenger – whoever that will be.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the front-runner for the GOP nomination according to our latest CNN/ORC International poll, didn’t mention Obama by name, but his target was clear when he addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention Monday in San Antonio, Texas.
(CNN) - Congress will hold a second hearing on "radicalization of the Muslim-American community," next week, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King announced on Thursday night.
King's first hearing on American Muslims, in March, sparked international controversy and attracted huge attention by the news media.
Washington (CNN)- Republican Rep. Peter King of New York says "something from within" the Muslim community is a "threat" to America that needs to be explored.
The issue will be discussed in the upcoming week as King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, holds hearings on the radicalization of Muslim Americans. Democratic Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, openly disagreed with the premise of the hearings as King gave a preview Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley of what will be discussed Thursday on the Hill.
Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Senate approved $600 million in emergency funding to help secure the U.S.-Mexican border on Thursday, on the eve of the Senate's summer recess and ahead of an election season in which immigration and border security are shaping up as major issues.
The bill provides for roughly 1,500 new law enforcement agents, new unmanned aerial vehicles, new forwarding operating bases and $14 million in new communication equipment.
It represents a 10 percent increase in border security spending over 2010, said New York Sen. Charles Schumer, a bill sponsor.
The measure must be passed by the House of Representatives before it can be signed by the president and become law.
Washington (CNN) - A new Congressional cyber security proposal would give the president emergency powers to protect critical private networks under attack, but the bill's sponsors insisted it does not allow the government to take control of any private cyber-network.
Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, who helped create the legislation, said the president could order a patch or tell a cyber network to stop receiving incoming data from a particular country when critical infrastructure in the private sector such as the electrical grid or financial grid is threatened or attacked. A company that complies with the order would be given immunity from any liability for any consequences of the action.
Sen. Susan Collins, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, emphasized the proposal does not allow for any new surveillance authority.
"This isn't a case of the federal government increasing its surveillance of private sector computers nor would it permit the government to take over private networks," said Collins. "It enables the government in concert with the private sector to better protect our nation's cyber assets."
The bipartisan bill announced by Lieberman, Collins and Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Delaware, creates a cyber security center at the Department of Homeland Security and would make the cyber security coordinator at the White House a permanent position, confirmed by the Senate. The position is currently appointed by the president.
(CNN) - In some of his most candid comments since leaving the White House, former President George W. Bush said Wednesday he has no regrets about authorizing the controversial waterboarding technique to interrogate terrorist suspects and wouldn't hesitate to do so again.
"Yeah, we waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed," the former president said during an appearance at the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Michigan, according to the Grand Rapids Press.
"I'd do it again to save lives," he added.
In a question-and-answer session following his speech to the group of local business leaders, the former president also defended his 2003 decision to invade Iraq.
Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration unveils its National Security Strategy on Thursday and it will be the first time a president explicitly recognizes the threat posed to the country by radicalized individuals at home, the president's chief counterterrorism adviser said.
The security strategy acts as a blueprint for how a White House administration intends to protect Americans. In the past, it has focused mostly on international threats.
But a spate of terror-related plots in the United States recently prompted the Obama administration to include homegrown terrorism in the document, National Security Adviser John Brennan said Wednesday.
Homegrown terrorism represents a new phase of the terrorist threat, he said.