Appropriations bills garner a great deal of attention largely because people become preoccupied by earmarks.  But appropriations are a fundamental, necessary part of the legislative process.  Appropriations bill literally fund the government.

So it is of critical importance that Members of Congress take their job seriously when evaluating and voting upon appropriations bills.  Yes they are long; yes they are tedious; but as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.  Find the flaws and fix them.

I proposed an amendment to the FY08 Homeland Security Appropriations bill that would fix a glaring problem.  The DHS Undersecretary for Management oversees the Audit Liaison Office at DHS. This Liaison Office helps to oversee the Department's efforts to coordinate with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Office of Investigator General (OIG) and with DHS component agencies.

The liaison officers have not been meeting the goal for which they were first funded – to keep agencies updates and avoid duplication, gaps and inefficiency. The liaison offices have not been successful in providing a centralized and coordinated process.   My goal was to reduce funding for this ineffective office.

The funding would be used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to further the development of the passenger pre-screening program called “Secure Flight.