Skip to comments.Bush to Sign Homeland Security Bill
Posted on 11/25/2002 9:12:06 AM PST by Sparta
WASHINGTON On his first working day after a four-nation tour of eastern Europe, President Bush planned to sign the new Department of Homeland Security into law Monday, marking the biggest overhaul in the federal government in more than 50 years.
The president was expected to "thank Congress for its bold and historic action in creating a new department largely along the lines of his proposal," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, who was to be named the new secretary of the department and newest member of the Cabinet.
Navy Secretary Gordon England was also expected to be named Ridge's deputy.
The department will have "one primary mission protecting the American people, and it will allow 170,000 people to work more efficiently and effectively than ever before," Johndroe said.
Not since the creation of the Defense Department in 1947 has the government had so large an overhaul. The new department will employ 170,000 workers and encompass all or parts of 22 federal agencies. It has a $38 billion budget, estimated from the allocations of the existing units being incorporated.
Though the president originally wanted homeland security directed by the White House, Bush relented last June and proposed a new agency that could coordinate all the disparate bureaus and provide a cohesive front against terrorist threats.
Bush's proposal came after reviews of intelligence agencies revealed that a lack of coordination hampered efforts to foresee and prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.
After the bill was introduced by Senate Democrats, partisan wrangling slowed down progress as Democrats demanded worker protections that Bush said were too strict for an agency that would need the highest quality of workers and flexible staffing to confront fast-changing threats.
The sides finally agreed to limited collective-bargaining arrangements after Democrats lost the majority in the Senate on Election Day.
The agency has 90 days to get its leadership structure in place, but was expected to take more than a year before it would be operating at full speed.
Senate Republican leader Trent Lott of Mississippi has already said that he wants some changes to be applied to the agency next year, and has gotten a pledge from House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., to revise certain provisions in the next Congress.
One provision permits federal business with American companies that have moved their operations abroad to sidestep U.S. taxes.
Another measure legally shields drug companies already sued over ingredients used in vaccines. Democrats said this includes existing claims that mercury-based preservatives have caused autism in children.
Also re-examined will be a section that helps Texas A&M University win homeland-security research money, a priority of incoming House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas.
You know what? If you're not a terrorist, and you keep your nose clean, basically a law-abiding citizen and still entitled to your Constitutional rights....why do you fear so???
Look, we need coordinated effort to go after the enemy that is already here. The Washington establishment was so hopelessly mired down that it was paralyzed in many respects. What Bush wants/needs is a fast-response (read:non-union) organization. This will lead to the non-unionization of other Federal agencies, IMHO. Why are you so afraid of that?
Actually, this bill is fairly tame compared to the Patriot Act. I've read much of H.R. 5710, and now I'm gonna read the bill as actually signed by Bush - there are a few stinkers in this, but critics have also several exaggerated much of what is in this bill.
Let the spying on law-abiding citizens commence!
What happens to the INS under this Bill? Is the INS being routed under Homeland Security?
With the INS intentionally releasing captured illegals, I doubt that the Vaterland, err, Homeland Defense Dept. will do much to either prevent terrorism (an impossibility) or expel terrorists who have been captured.
Section 471 of this Act elimated the INS and replaced it with two agencies - the Bureau of Border Security and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration, which are both part of the new Department.
God help us all.
Thanks, didn't know that. Well, I see it as a way to get the corrupt, union-infested INS out of the way and a more effective law enforcement dealing with this out-of-control immigration situation.
I'll really start cheering if I see these boys close the borders and start rounding up Muslims.
Good question... why don't you go read Title IV of the HSA, HR 5005 and see what it says.... Maybe it's all paper shuffling and nothing will be accomplished in the field.