Bush creates homeland defense agency

In an address to Congress and the nation Thursday night, President Bush announced the creation of a new Cabinet-level Office of Homeland Security. The new office, Bush said, will "lead, oversee and coordinate a national strategy to safeguard our country against terrorism and respond to any attacks that come." The new office will be headed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. Bush noted that currently, several different federal agencies have responsibility for aspects of homeland defense, and said Ridge would work to manage their efforts. Despite his Cabinet-level status, the director of the Office of Homeland Security will not need Senate confirmation and his office will be based within the White House, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Friday.

Fleischer said the new office will be established by executive order and compared it to the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. Pennsylvania GOP Gov. Tom Ridge, who will head the new office, will serve as an assistant to the President, not as an agency chief.

Some members of Congress have pushed for the creation of a single agency to be responsible for homeland defense. Such an agency would embrace some combination of the Border Patrol, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Customs Service, the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and possibly others. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, introduced legislation to create such an agency earlier this year. In his speech, Bush said the United States is "a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom." He pledged to launch an all-out assault on terrorists and the nations who harbor them. "We will direct every resource at our command," Bush said. The effort, the President said, would not be like the ground war against Iraq or the recent air war over Kosovo, but would be "a lengthy campaign unlike any we have ever seen." In remarks directed to military service members, Bush said, "the hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.