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[Congressional Record: June 18, 2002 (Senate)]
[Page S5691-S5693]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                             2002''--PM 92

  The PRESIDING OFFICER laid before the Senate the following message 
from the President of the United States, together with an accompanying 
report; which was referred to the Committee on Government Affairs:

To the Congress of the United States:
  I hereby transmit to the Congress proposed legislation to create a 
new Cabinet Department of Homeland Security.
  Our Nation faces a new and changing threat unlike any we have faced 
before--the global threat of terrorism. No nation is immune, and all 
nations must act decisively to protect against this constantly evolving 
  We must recognize that the threat of terrorism is a permanent 
condition, and we must take action to protect America against the 
terrorists that seek to kill the innocent.
  Since September 11, 2001, all levels of government and leaders from 
across the political spectrum have cooperated like never before. We 
have strengthened our aviation security and tightened our borders. We 
have stockpiled medicines to defend against bioterrorism and improved 
our ability to combat weapons of mass destruction. We have dramatically 
improved information sharing among our intelligence agencies, and we 
have taken new steps to protect our critical infrastructure.
  Our Nation is stronger and better prepared today than it was on 
September 11. Yet, we can do better. I propose the most extensive 
reorganization of the Federal Government since the 1940s by creating a 
new Department of Homeland Security. For the first time we would have a 
single Department whose primary mission is to secure our homeland. Soon 
after the Second World War, President Harry Truman recognized that our 
Nation's fragmented military defenses needed reorganization to help win 
the Cold War. President Truman proposed uniting our military forces 
under a single entity, now the Department of Defense, and creating the 
National Security Council to bring together defense, intelligence, and 
diplomacy. President Truman's reforms are still helping us to fight 
terror abroad, and today we need similar dramatic reforms to secure our 
people at home.
  President Truman and Congress reorganized our Government to meet a 
very visible enemy in the Cold War. Today our nation must once again 
reorganize our Government to protect against an often-invisible enemy, 
an enemy that hides in the shadows and an enemy that can strike with 
many different types of weapons. Our enemies seek to obtain the most 
dangerous and deadly weapons of mass destruction and use them against 
the innocent. While we are winning the war on terrorism, Al Qaeda and 
other terrorist organizations still have thousands of trained

[[Page S5692]]

killers spread across the globe plotting attacks against America and 
the other nations of the civilized world.
  Immediately after last fall's attack, I used my legal authority to 
establish the White House Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland 
Security Council to help ensure that our Federal response and 
protection efforts were coordinated and effective. I also directed 
Homeland Security Advisor Tom Ridge to study the Federal Government as 
a whole to determine if the current structure allows us to meet the 
threats of today while preparing for the unknown threats of tomorrow. 
After careful study of the current structure, coupled with the 
experience gained since September 11 and new information we have 
learned about our enemies while fighting a war, I have concluded that 
our Nation needs a more unified homeland security structure.
  I propose to create a new Department of Homeland Security by 
substantially transforming the current confusing patchwork of 
government activities into a single department whose primary mission is 
to secure our homeland. My proposal builds on the strong bipartisan 
work on the issue of homeland security that has been conducted by 
Members of Congress. In designing the new Department, my Administration 
considered a number of homeland security organizational proposals that 
have emerged from outside studies, commission, and members of Congress.

             the need for a department of homeland security

  Today no Federal Government agency has homeland security as its 
primary mission. Responsibilities for homeland security are dispersed 
among more than 100 different entities of the Federal Government. 
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.
  The mission of the new Department would be to prevent terrorist 
attacks within the United States, to reduce America's vulnerability to 
terrorism, and to minimize the damage and recover from attacks that may 
occur. 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.
  The Department of Homeland Security would make Americans safer 
because for the first time we would have one department dedicated to 
securing the homeland. One department would secure our borders, 
transportation sector, ports, and critical infrastructure. One 
department would analyze homeland security intelligence from multiple 
sources, synthesize it with a comprehensive assessment of America's 
vulnerabilities, and take action to secure our highest risk facilities 
and systems. One department would coordinate communications with State 
and local governments, private industry, and the American people about 
threats and preparedness. One department would coordinate our efforts 
to secure the American people against bioterrorism and other weapons of 
mass destruction. One department would help train and equip our first 
responders. One department would manage Federal emergency response 
  Our goal is not to expand Government, but to create an agile 
organization that takes advantage of modern technology and management 
techniques to meet a new and constantly evolving threat. We can improve 
our homeland security by minimizing the duplication of efforts, 
improving coordination, and combining functions that are currently 
fragmented and inefficient. The new Department would allow us to have 
more security officers in the field working to stop terrorists and 
fewer resources in Washington managing duplicative activities that 
drain critical homeland security resources.

  The Department of Homeland Security would have a clear and efficient 
organizational structure with four main divisions: Border and 
Transportation Security; Emergency Preparedness and Response; Chemical, 
Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures; and Information 
Analysis and Infrastructure Protection.

                   border and transportation security

  Terrorism is a global threat and we must improve our border security 
to help keep out those who mean to do us harm. We must closely monitor 
who is coming into and out of our country to help prevent foreign 
terrorists from entering our country and bringing in their instruments 
of terror. At the same time, we must expedite the legal flow of people 
and goods on which our economy depends. Securing our borders and 
controlling entry to the United States has always been the 
responsibility of the Federal Government. Yet, this responsibility and 
the security of our transportation systems is now dispersed among 
several major Government organizations. Under my proposed legislation, 
the Department of Homeland Security would unify authority over major 
Federal security operations related to our borders, territorial waters, 
and transportation systems.
  The Department would assume responsibility for the United States 
Coast Guard, the United States Customs Service, the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service (including the Border Patrol), the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Transportation Security 
Administration. The Secretary of Homeland Security would have the 
authority to administer and enforce all immigration and nationality 
laws, including the visa issuance functions of consular officers. As a 
result, the Department would have sole responsibility for managing 
entry into the United States and protecting our transportation 
infrastructure. It would ensure that all aspects of border control, 
including the issuing of visas, are informed by a central information-
sharing clearinghouse and compatible databases.

                  emergency preparedness and response

  Although our top priority is preventing future attacks, we must also 
prepare to minimize the damage and recover from attacks that may occur.
  My legislative proposal requires the Department of Homeland Security 
to ensure the preparedness of our Nation's emergency response 
professionals, provide the Federal Government's response, and aid 
America's recovery from terrorist attacks and natural disasters. To 
fulfill these missions, the Department of Homeland Security would 
incorporate the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as one of 
its key components. The Department would administer the domestic 
disaster preparedness grant programs for firefighters, police, and 
emergency personnel currently managed by FEMA, the Department of 
Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services. In responding 
to an incident, the Department would manage such critical response 
assets as the Nuclear Emergency Search Team (from the Department of 
Energy) and the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile (from the Department 
of Health and Human Services). Finally, the Department of Homeland 
Security would integrate the Federal interagency emergency response 
plans into a single, comprehensive, Government-wide plan, and would 
work to ensure that all response personnel have the equipment and 
capability to communicate with each other as necessary.

    chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear countermeasures

  Our enemies today seek to acquire and use the most deadly weapons 
known to mankind--chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear 
  The new Department of Homeland Security would lead the Federal 
Government's efforts in preparing for and responding to the full range 
of terrorist threat involving weapons of mass destruction. The 
Department would set national policy and establish guidelines for State 
and local governments. The Department would direct exercises for 
Federal, State, and local chemicals, biological, radiological, and 
nuclear attack response teams and plans. The Department would 
consolidate and synchronize the disparate efforts of multiple Federal 
agencies now scattered across several departments. This would create a 
single office whose primary mission is the critical task of securing 
the United States from catastrophic terrorism.
  The Department would improve America's ability to develop 
diagnostics, vaccines, antibodies, antidotes, and other countermeasures

[[Page S5693]]

against new weapons. It would consolidate and prioritize the disparate 
homeland security-related research and development programs currently 
scattered throughout the executive branch, and the Department would 
assist State and local public safety agencies by evaluating equipment 
and setting standards.

           information analysis and infrastructure protection

  For the first time the Government would have under one roof the 
capability to identify and assess threats to the homeland, map those 
threats against our vulnerabilities, issue timely warnings, and take 
action to help secure the homeland.
  The Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection division of 
the new Department of Homeland Security would complement the reforms on 
intelligence-gathering and information-sharing already underway at the 
FBI and the CIA. The Department would analyze information and 
intelligence fro the FBI, CIA, and many other Federal agencies to 
better understand the terrorist threat to the American homeland.
  The Department would comprehensively assess the vulnerability of 
America's key assets and critical infrastructure, including food and 
water systems, agriculture, health systems and emergency services, 
information and telecommunications, banking and finance, energy, 
transportation, the chemical and defense industries, postal and 
shipping entities, and national monuments and icons. The Department 
would integrate its own and others' threat analyses with its 
comprehensive vulnerability assessment to identify protective 
priorities and support protective steps to be taken by the Department, 
other Federal departments and agencies, State and local agencies, and 
the private sector. Working closely with State and local officials, 
other Federal agencies, and the private sector, the Department would 
help ensure that proper steps are taken to protect high-risk potential 

                            Other Components

  In addition to these four core divisions, the submitted legislation 
would also transfer responsibility for the Secret Service to the 
Department of Homeland Security. The Secret Service, which would report 
directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security, would retain its 
primary mission to protect the President and other Government leaders. 
The Secret Service would, however, contribute its specialized 
protective expertise to the fulfillment of the Department's core 
  Finally, under my legislation, the Department of Homeland Security 
would consolidate and streamline relations with the Federal Government 
for America's State and local governments. The new Department would 
contain an intergovernmental affairs office to coordinate Federal 
homeland security programs with State and local officials. It would 
give State and local officials one primary contact instead of many when 
it comes to matters related to training, equipment, planning, and other 
critical needs such as emergency response.
  The consolidation of the Government's homeland security efforts as 
outlined in my proposed legislation can achieve great efficiencies that 
further enhance our security. Yet, to achieve these efficiencies, the 
new Secretary of Homeland Security would require considerable 
flexibility in procurement, integration of information technology 
systems, and personnel issues. My proposed legislation provides the 
Secretary of Homeland Security with just such flexibility and 
managerial authorities. I call upon the congress to implement these 
measures in order to ensure that we are maximizing our ability to 
secure our homeland.

         Continued Interagency Coordination at the White House

  Even with the creation of the new Department, there will remain a 
strong need for a White House Office of Homeland Security. Protecting 
America from Terrorism will remain a multi-departmental issue and will 
continue to require interagency coordination. Presidents will continue 
to require the confidential advice of a Homeland Security Advisor, and 
I intend for the White House Office of Homeland Security and the 
Homeland Security Council to maintain a strong role in coordinating our 
government-wide efforts to secure the homeland.

                         The Lessons of History

  History teaches us that new challenges require new organizational 
structures. History also teaches us that critical security challenges 
require clear lines of responsibility and the unified effort of the 
U.S. Government.
  President Truman said, looking at the lessons of the Second World 
War: ``It is now time to discard obsolete organizational forms, and to 
provide for the future the soundest, the most effective, and the most 
economical kind of structure for our armed forces.'' When skeptics told 
President Truman that this proposed reorganization was too ambitious to 
be enacted, he simply replied that it had to be. In the years to 
follow, the Congress acted upon President Truman's recommendation, 
eventually laying a sound organizational foundation that enabled the 
United states to win the Cold War. All Americans today enjoy the 
inheritance of this landmark organizational reform: a unified 
Department of Defense that has become the most powerful force for 
freedom the world has ever seen.
  Today America faces a threat that is wholly different from the threat 
we faced during the Cold War. Our terrorist enemies hide in shadows and 
attack civilians with whatever means of destruction they can access. 
But as in the Cold War, meeting this threat requires clear lines of 
responsibility and the unified efforts of government at all levels--
Federal, State, local, and tribal--the private sector, and all 
Americans. America needs a homeland security establishment that can 
help prevent catastrophic attacks and mobilize national resources for 
an enduring conflict while protecting our Nation's values and 
  Years from today, our world will still be fighting the threat of 
terrorism. It is my hope that future generations will be able to look 
back on the Homeland Security Act of 2002--as we now remember the 
National Security Act of 1947--as the solid organizational foundation 
for America's triumph in a long and difficult struggle against a 
formidable enemy.
  History has given our Nation new challenges--and important new 
assignments. Only the United States Congress can create a new 
department of Government. We face an urgent need, and I am pleased that 
congress has responded to my call to act before the end of the current 
congressional session with the same bipartisan spirit that allowed us 
to act expeditiously on legislation after September 11.
  These are times that demand bipartisan action and bipartisan 
solutions to meet the new and changing threats we face as a Nation. I 
urge the Congress to join me in creating a single, permanent department 
with an overriding and urgent mission--securing the homeland of America 
and protecting the American people. Together we can meet this ambitious 
deadline and help ensure that the American homeland is secure against 
the terrorist threat.
                                                      George W. Bush.  
The White House, June 18, 2002.