Lawmakers ‘disappointed’ with hostage policy reforms push legislation – CNN

Washington (CNN)Capitol Hill lawmakers on Tuesday slammed the anticipated White House hostage policy review and are pushing for more aggressive oversight of efforts to free Americans seized abroad.

A bipartisan group of House and Senate members is charging that the White House — expected to release new guidelines Wednesday on how to support Americans held hostage by terror groups — isn’t going far enough.

Two Republicans and two Democrats are introducing legislation that would appoint an independent director to oversee an inter-agency task force focused on locating and recovering American hostages, a direct challenge to the White House’s plans to create an inter-agency cell that would be overseen by a senior FBI official.

READ: White House to okay negotiating with terror groups holding U.S. hostages

The lawmakers believe an independent director with the ability to pull resources from any of the agencies currently involved — the State Department, FBI, Pentagon and CIA — should oversee the effort rather than the FBI.

Rep. John Delaney, a Democrat from Maryland whose constituents include the family of Warren Weinstein, a hostage accidentally killed in a U.S. drone strike in January, told CNN on Tuesday that he is “disappointed” in the White House’s plans.

Delaney’s Republican counterpart, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, called the White House reforms “window dressing” and “a pathetic response to a serious problem” in a statement on Tuesday.


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