Truth Frequency Radio
Jul 17, 2014

http://tfrlive.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/homelandsec.jpg?itok=wScHxb-YHomeland Security News Wire

Brendan Shields, the new staff director for House Homeland Security Committeechairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), fired five top policy staffers on 20 June, including McCaul’s top advisers on border security and counterterrorism.Observers note that without his own cadre of policy experts, McCaul may have less influence on legislation, especially if subcommittee heads with opposing views become more involved in drafting policies.

Brendan Shields, the new staff director for House Homeland Security Committee chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), fired five top policy staffers on 20 June, including McCaul’s top advisers on border security and counterterrorism. Against the backdrop of a flood of young Central American children illegally crossing the Southern border, and instability in Iraq, some observers are asking whether a sweeping turnover of committee staffers – the latest firings come on top of five other dismissals, and several resignations, since McCaul became chairman two years ago — could weaken the panel’s ability to address border security and counterterrorism policy. “I kind of wonder if Brendan Shields has turned on a television in the last six months or picked up a New York Times,” said a former government official, who was not among the fired staffers but knows people involved with the committee. “Is he not paying attention to what’s going on in Syria? In Libya? … Has he turned on CNN and seen the holding pens with thousands of children coming across the border?”

Roll Call reports that the turnover comes after McCaul’s long time chief of staff Greg Hill resigned earlier this year. Hill now works as a principal at The Chertoff Group.

Shields has a reputation for a demanding, curt approach to people. Roll Call quotes a memo Shields sent some staffers on 19 June, instructing, “It is unacceptable to leave the office for the day before 6PM. … If you cannot adhere to this, that is a major problem.”

Current and former staffers were informed that the reorganization is meant to empower subcommittees, and reduce redundancies and staff overlap, yet some insist that the staff members fired take with them much competence and institutional memory. Without his own cadre of policy experts, McCaul may have less influence on legislation, especially if subcommittee heads with opposing views become more involved in drafting policies.

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