Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Bush Sends Homeland Security Legislation to Congress

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Bush Sends Homeland Security Legislation to Congress

Article excerpt

Following his announcement to reorganize the federal government's vast network of counter-terrorism operations, President Bush sent legislation to Congress last week outlining the framework of a new domestic security department that would oversee a budget of about $37.4 billion.

Congress began preparations for immediate review of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

The House adopted a resolution (H. Res. 449) creating a nine-member Select Committee on Homeland Security to review the legislation, and the Senate Government Affairs Committee (Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., chair) held a hearing on the president's plan with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge as the principal witness (see story, below).

"Responsibilities for homeland security are dispersed among more than 100 different entities of the federal government," President Bush noted in a written statement to Congress. "America needs a unified homeland security structure that will improve protection against today's threats and be flexible enough to help meet the unknown threats of the future."

According to the president, the Department of Homeland Security would mobilize and focus the resources of the federal government, state and local governments, the private sector and the American people to accomplish its mission of preventing terrorist attacks within the United States, reducing America's vulnerability to terrorism and minimizing the damage and recovery from attacks that may occur. …

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