Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Pascrell Praises Decision to Elevate Homeland Security to Cabinet-Level Status

Jun 6, 2002
Press Release

Lawmaker had urged move, introduced H.R. 3639


WASHINGTON - Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8), whose legislation H.R. 3639 called for the establishment of a cabinet-level Office of Homeland Security, issued the following statement today regarding the President's decision to reverse his previous position and give Homeland Security Cabinet-level status:

I am pleased that the President has recognized that the patchwork way we currently coordinate our homeland defense is in dire need of an overhaul. We have seen a devastating lack of communication among agencies, missed intelligence clues, and scores of beauracracies lacking a coherent strategy and mission. This is a good step.

Giving Homeland Security Director Ridge cabinet-level status will greatly enhance our nation's capacity to detect, confront, and defeat terrorism.

The Homeland Security Director needs to be a cabinet officer, and he also needs authority over budgets and operations in order to meet the threats that exist. We certainly can no longer afford to have those agencies charged with protecting Americans preoccupied by blame-games and finger pointing."