Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee holds a Hurricane Katrina hearing today, investigating fraud and problems in connections with various FEMA benefit programs and contracts. The committee's final report should be ready by mid-March.
Tomorrow, The Senate committee tasked with investigating the federal response to Katrina will wrap up its hearings on Tuesday when DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff is expected to come under tough questioning. In testimony last Friday, former FEMA Director Michael Brown implicated Chertoff and other Bush aides in the government's sluggish response to the disaster. (And leaked portions of a House committee report on Katrina also point some blame at Chertoff.)
More budget hearings as well on Tuesday: Treasury Secretary John Snow testifies before the Budget Committee and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice comes before the Foreign Relations panel.
More Katrina on Wednesday, as the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will question HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson on rebuilding efforts. The panel will also hear from new Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday when he discusses the monetary policy report.
Senators on the Intelligence Committee will meet Thursday to discuss how to proceed on the controversial NSA surveillance program. Committee Democrats and at least three Republicans have expressed -- at a minimum -- concerns about the warrantless wiretaps. A vote on whether to launch an investigation could occur, but Republican Chairman Pat Roberts, Kansas, who finds no fault with the program or its legal underpinnings, may opt for a another approach.
The Senate is also expected to complete work on the much-delayed Patriot Act reauthorization. A small band of Republican senators who had joined most Democrats opposing the current version struck a deal with the White House on fixes last Thursday.