WASHINGTON – Senate leaders on Tuesday named a bipartisan working group of senators to come up with better ways for the chamber to oversee the nation's intelligence and homeland security communities.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Democratic leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said the group would begin work immediately and give a report to them as soon as possible.
The Sept. 11 commission (search) said there needs to be better oversight by Congress of intelligence and counterterrorism agencies, especially during transitions between administrations.
"Congress took too little action to adjust itself or to restructure the executive branch to address the emerging terrorist threat," the commission said in its report.
"This is an opportunity for us in the Senate to prove that there really are no turf battles here and no protection of personal interests, but that our paramount goal is to do the work we are charged with doing to make this country safer," said Sen. Susan Collins (search), R-Maine, whose Governmental Affairs committee is writing legislation based on the Sept. 11 commission report.
The working group includes GOP Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; Susan Collins of Maine; John Warner of Virginia; Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, both of Mississippi; Pat Roberts of Kansas; Ted Stevens of Alaska; Judd Gregg of New Hampshire; John McCain (search) and Jon Kyl, both of Arizona; and Richard Lugar of Indiana.
The Democrats are Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada; Joe Lieberman and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut; Carl Levin of Michigan; Jay Rockefeller and Robert Byrd of West Virginia; Richard Durbin of Illinois; Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton (search) of New York; Joe Biden of Delaware; and Patty Murray of Washington.