Hoekstra Raps Democrats' Panel-Packing Plan

Wednesday, 14 Jan 2009 01:34 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Rep. Pete Hoekstra has sharply criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to increase the number of Democrats on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The Michigan Republican said the move would contravene the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, which held that the majority on the Intelligence Committee should never exceed the minority by more than one vote.

The committee currently has 12 Democrats and 9 Republicans, however. And yet Pelosi wants to change that to a 13 to 8 ratio, a source close to the committee told Newsmax.

“This is a brazen move by Democrats to pack the Intelligence Committee and drive intelligence into a partisan realm,” said Hoekstra, the top Republican on the committee.

“From cutting pork-barrel earmarks in the intelligence bill to continuing the Terrorist Surveillance Program, the committee made bipartisan, centrist decisions several times during the last Congress. Speaker Pelosi has clearly made a decision that the ‘D’ beside a member’s name is more important than national security and conducting strong, bipartisan intelligence oversight.”

Hoekstra noted that in a December, President-elect Barack Obama told the congressman he was committed to working cooperatively with Hoekstra and Republicans on intelligence matters.

“Instead of following President-elect Obama’s lead and reaching out, the speaker has chosen to erect new barriers to cooperation,” Hoekstra added.

“On matters of national security, we should be trying to come together, not pushing Congress farther apart.”

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