As Senate and House committees prepare to draft their versions of legislation creating a Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security, a new report from a team of homeland security experts at the Brookings Institution recommends that Congress modify key elements of President Bush's proposal.
The report concludes that the Bush proposal "merges too many different activities into a single department, including many that have little day-to-day connection with one another." The authors recommend that Congress include in the new department only border, transportation, and infrastructure security agencies, plus a major new intelligence assessment and analysis unit. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and agencies dealing with chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear countermeasures should not, for now, be included in the new department, the report concludes.
It also urges President Bush to issue a "clear and coherent statement" of his strategic priorities on homeland security.
The authors of the new report are Brookings experts Ivo Daalder, I.M. Destler of the University of Maryland, Paul Light, James Lindsay, Robert Litan, Michael O'Hanlon, Peter Orszag, and James Steinberg.
The full report will be distributed and discussed, and questions about it will be answered, at the briefing.
This event will be webcast live and will be available from the Brookings home page, www.brookings.edu.