Political Notebook


Security oversight, war memorial on senators' plates

U.S. senators from Indiana are pushing legislation to require Senate approval of nominees for National Security Agency director and the establishment of a new war memorial.

Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., have introduced an amendment to the defense authorization bill mandating that presidential appointments of NSA directors be confirmed by the Senate. The amendment also would make the NSA’s inspector general an independent position requiring Senate confirmation.

Coats said in a statement that the legislation would bring “greater transparency and even stronger oversight” to the NSA.

Sens. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and John Boozman, R-Ark., saw the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Friday pass their bill to authorize the construction of a National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial. The memorial would recognize the 600,000 U.S. troops deployed to the Mideast in 1990-91, including 293 who died, to repel Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

Donnelly, in a statement, said the forces, “including more than 60,000 Hoosiers, deserve to have their bravery and sacrifices honored.”

The memorial would be built on federal land in the District of Columbia and financed through private funds.