House Passes Homeland Security Department
The House passed legislation Nov. 13 creating a new Department of Homeland Security. The Senate is expected to act on the bill, which pulls 22 separate agencies into one federal agency, next week The new DHS agency would bring together nearly two-dozen agencies, including the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Customs Service, the Border Patrol, the Transportation Security Administration and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, totaling about 170,000 employees. If the Senate adopts the bill and the President signs it, officials will begin consolidating the agencies and reorganizing the government in the largest remake since the Department of Defense was created in 1947. The Department of Homeland Security is charged with protecting America’s nuclear plants, energy pipelines, seaports, cities and national historic treasures. The agency will train police officers, firefighters and health workers to respond to terrorist attacks.