McCaskill was one of the lawmakers to call on Ferguson-area officials to "demilitarize" the police response to local outrage over the shooting death of 18-year old Michael Brown. In the wake of the incident, she also kept in close touch with the White House, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and other federal officials. Several other lawmakers, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have raised concerns that the federal programs used by local law enforcement agencies not only give local police unnecessary access to military-style equipment, but also are a form of "earmarking," or federal spending that lawmakers can help direct to communities in their districts or home states. Earmarking has been banned by both chambers in recent years in response to concerns about excessive spending and abuse tied to the practice.
The hearing of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will be held Sept. 9 at 10:30 a.m., according to McCaskill's office.