Politics vs. Homeland Security

President Bush's proposed new Cabinet department is still being batted around in Washington. How do you feel about that?

Efforts to create a federal Homeland Security Dept. have taken a long time to bear fruit, considering that it has been 13 months since terrorists mounted the deadliest attack ever on U.S. soil (see BW Online, 10/7/02, "Who's Holding Up Homeland Security?"). The hangup appears to be President Bush's desire for the authority to suspend labor contracts of employees at the new department in cases of national emergency, whereas civil service unions (and some Democratic senators) favor not giving him automatic authority to do so. (Homeland Security Adviser Tom Ridge addressed this topic in a Sept. 26 speech to a gathering of U.S. mayors in Washington.)

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