Wednesday, Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks) spoke on the global threats that face our nation at a hearing entitled, “Global Terrorism: Threats to the Homeland Part II.”
“The threats to our homeland are real,” Rep. Rogers said. “Every day, terrorists plot to disrupt and destroy our way of life…Just this weekend, we all were reminded of the evil that still seeks to attack our shores. The killing of Abu-Bakar al-Baghdadi was an important victory in the fight against ISIS…And ISIS is not the only threat we face. I look forward to hearing more about how we are countering the threat from ISIS, Al Qaeda, and others who seek to do us harm.”
Rogers thanked Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan for coming to testify before the committee even though it was his next to last day as the head of the Department of Homeland Security.
Rogers also thanked Director Wray, Acting Director Travers, and Undersecretary Glawe for their testimony. “Your input today will help us as policymakers confront the global terror threats this nation faces.”
“ISIS is responsible for the public execution of two U.S. journalists. James Foley and Steven Sotloff were doing their jobs and ISIS killed them,” Rogers explained. “American aid worker Kayla Mueller, was kidnapped, tortured, and killed by ISIS. At least seven terrorist attacks have been carried out in ISIS’ name in the west. Who knows how many more attacks Baghdadi was planning. Yet, his death does not end the ISIS threat to our homeland. And ISIS is not the only threat we face,”
Rogers did have some criticism for how the Democratic Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) handled subpoenas for the hearing.
“Mr. Chairman, I do need to address the subpoena issue before I yield back,” Rogers said. “I am frustrated at how the events of the last week unfolded. I am frustrated that you were put in the position where you thought issuing subpoenas was necessary.”
“If someone gives you their word, Mr. Chairman, they need to keep it,” Rogers continued. “I would like the same respect. We have Committee rules that need to be followed. And you gave me your word in a colloquy that we would work together on subpoenas. None of that happened this time around. Just two months ago, we jointly issued a subpoena for Jim Watkins of 8Chan. I’ve been willing to engage with you in the subpoena process. I’ve been with you every step of the way to defend this Committee’s mission and oversight responsibilities. But the rules exist to protect the rights of the minority in this body. You know that from your time in the minority. Rule 12 and our agreement require us to speak beforehand. We sat in these same chairs for a markup last week about 24 hours before you issued the subpoenas. You didn’t say a word about them.”
“I asked to discuss this issue with you on Monday and did not hear back from you,” Rogers continued. “You also accused me of providing the Acting Secretary with “faulty information” in a letter over the weekend. I find that implication outrageous. A quick conversation with me, an email, or a phone call could have prevented all of this. To be very clear, I probably would have voted for the subpoenas. You would have seen that if you’d kept your promise to our members and marked them up. Our relationship with each other is the only way anything ever gets done around here. We set the tone. Going forward, I hope that we can conduct the Committee’s business openly and in accordance with the rules.”
Mike Rogers is the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee and likely would chair the Committee if re-elected and Republicans were to take control of the House in 2020 elections.