Missouri’s senior U.S. Senator has been named as the top Democrat on a powerful committee.

Senator Claire McCaskill

Senator Claire McCaskill

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill will be the ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

“This is a committee I’ve served on since I came to the Senate (in 2007), because I like to do oversight,” says McCaskill. “As a former (State) Auditor, I enjoy figuring out where the government is wasting people’s money, where the government is behaving badly.”

McCaskill says her new position will expand her role in federal government oversight.

The Committee Chair is U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin). Johnson was re-elected by Wisconsin voters this month to a second term, beating former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D).

McCaskill says she and Chairman Johnson will look for ways to prevent government tax dollars from being wasted.

“I have been an equal opportunity ‘get-after-em’ kind of senator. I have not hesitated to criticize the Obama administration, to criticize the Bush administration,” McCaskill says.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has jurisdiction over the federal government’s operations and the Department of Homeland Security.

“We’ll be looking at any government agency that is not doing their job, or doing it in a way that is unfair to taxpayers,” McCaskill tells Missourinet. “And it won’t matter to me whether that is in a Democratic administration or a Republican administration.”

McCaskill says holding government accountable and better protecting Missourians’ safety have been “the bread and butter” of her Senate work. During her first term, McCaskill focused on what she calls wasteful wartime contracting practices in Iraq and Afghanistan, an effort that led to changes in law.

McCaskill served for the past two years as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which is chaired by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).