Bush Signs Homeland Security Dept. Bill
President Bush signed the homeland security bill today and named Tom Ridge to head the department. Navy Secretary Gordon England will be Ridge’s deputy.
Twenty-two agencies will merge into the new Cabinet department with a budget of about $40 billion and employ 170,000 workers. It is the most sweeping reorganization on the federal level since the Department of Defense was born in 1947. The FBI and the CIA will not be part of the new department. The bill provides none of the money for first-responders promised by the Administration and Congress after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The Homeland Security Department will have “one primary purpose—protecting the American people…” Gordon Johndroe, Ridge’s spokesman said.