December 11, 2002

Summary of Department of Homeland Security Legislation

Rich Gold

On November 25, 2002, President Bush signed into law legislation (H.R. 5005 – Public Law 107-296) creating a Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The bill preserves the essential functions originally contained in the proposal submitted by President Bush in June 2002 while adding several changes that will help ensure successful implementation and continued congressional oversight.

In sum, the law merges 22 agencies and 170,000 employees which comprises the largest federal reorganization since the creation of the Department of Defense in the 1940s. The new department is mandated to coordinate and integrate U.S. government activities relating to homeland security, including border security, critical infrastructure protection, emergency preparedness and response, intelligence, and science and technology.

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