U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley says now that Republicans are in control of the Senate, he wants a greater focus on Congressional oversight.
One way the Iowa Republican is affecting this shift is by co-sponsoring a bill that changes Congressional budgeting from a one-year to a two-year cycle. He says the second year of the schedule allows Congress more time for the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal programs.
“You accomplish longer-term policy, so people know more what’s down the road two years, instead of one year,” says Grassley. “And then secondly we’re going to emphasize oversight, which Congress doesn’t do enough of.”
Also as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Grassley wants the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to explain how law enforcement agencies use cell-site simulators, a technology that mimics cell phone towers. Grassley says these simulators, or “stingrays,” could be violating the constitutional rights of passersby when information is secretly lifted from their phones.
“I’m concerned about balancing security and privacy,” Grassley says. “We’re looking to be sure that there’s sufficient protection for Americans that aren’t being specifically targeted, while allowing law enforcement to do its job.”