Senate confirms Ridge 94-0
The United States Senate voted 94-0 Wednesday to appoint Tom Ridge as homeland security chief.
Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor and the president’s top adviser on domestic terrorism, will become the first secretary of the new Homeland Security Department. Ridge, 57, will head a department that originated in legislation signed by Bush in November. The department officially comes into being Friday.
Eventually the new department will be comprised of 170,000 civil servants now working at 22 separate agencies with security-related functions, including the Customs Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Secret Service, Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Officials are still looking for a headquarters for the most massive federal reorganization since the 1947 creation of the Defense Department. Ridge will continue to work out of his White House West Wing office and a transition office in downtown Washington until a permanent home is found.