RealNews

Lawmakers grill top cyber official at Homeland Security

House lawmakers on Thursday fired questions at the new chief of infrastructure protection at the Homeland Security Department, asking about the division’s fiscal 2004 budget request, upcoming deadlines and the amount of information it shares with Congress. Kentucky Republican Harold Rogers, chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, said during a hearing on the information analysis and infrastructure protection directorate that the unit’s budget request did not “provide nearly enough detailed” information and characterized the requests for funding as “simply not adequate.” Rogers and subcommittee ranking Democrat Martin Olav Sabo of Minnesota said obtaining the budget information for the agency, and the department overall, was onerous, cumbersome and time-consuming. “I wonder if we’re better off spending the $800 million elsewhere,” Sabo said of the $829 million requested by the Bush administration for the directorate, which is in charge of assessing threats to the nation’s cyber and physical infrastructures. Full Story

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