Senator Susan Collins (R- Maine) has set some lofty goals for herself and the rest of her peers in Congress next year. For one, she is adamant that the nation continue striving to improve national security, a move that was punctuated at the end of last year with passage of the bipartisan Collins-Lieberman intelligence reform legislation.
She also has plans to help modernize the U.S. Postal Service and improve and enhance federal employee benefits. Will these things actually be accomplished, or will these actions follow the familiar script of good intentions that get stuck in the political quagmires that permeate national politics?
The good news for federal employees is that Collins may be in a position to push some of these initiatives through as she was re-elected this week by her peers in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to serve as Chairman of the 109th Congress.
“My goal this year is to continue promoting a bipartisan working environment in the Committee so that we can focus on tackling the important issues facing this country. I hope that the success we had at the end of last year with the bipartisan Collins-Lieberman intelligence reform legislation will start us off on the right foot this year,” Collins said.
“I anticipate building on our work in the last Congress to strengthen our national security by, among other things, overseeing and improving the Department of Homeland Security and investigating sources of terrorism financing. I also plan to investigate wasteful government spending, modernize the United States Postal Service, investigate the United Nations ‘Oil for Food’ Program, and enhance federal employee benefits.”
Collins first became Chairman of the Committee on Governmental Affairs on Jan. 15, 2003. The Committee was renamed this year as the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to reflect its expanded oversight of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Collins is the first woman to Chair the Committee and the 15th woman in history to serve in the U.S. Senate. She has been a member of the Senate since 1996.