Leadership: May 16, 2002

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Congress is unhappy with the White House refusal to allow security czar Tom Ridge to testify to their committees, and no longer believe his claims that he has all the power that he needs. A new bipartisan movement is gathering force to create a cabinet level Department of Homeland Security, which would make its chief subject to Congressional committee subpoenas but would at least give him control over his own $40 billion annual budget. Congress is debating which agencies and bureaus to include in the new department without creating new ones. The FBI, for example, does mostly criminal work but is charged with counter-espionage and counter-terrorism. It cannot serve two masters, being divided between Security and Justice would destroy it, and creating a new Bureau under the security directorate would duplicate functions.

 


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