Jun 06 2002
WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Tom Carper today reaffirmed his support for creating a Cabinet-level office of Homeland Defense and thanked the President for putting his support behind such proposal. "I am glad to see the President has come around to a position supported by many of us in Congress. Tom Ridge's close relationship with the President and the respect of his former colleagues gives him power and influence that his eventual successor may not have. Elevating the homeland security director to the cabinet level grants some actual authority," said Carper, who was Ridge's mentor in the National Governors' Association. "There needs to be real accountability and there needs to be better coordination between agencies. My hope is this will offer both." As a member of the Government Affairs Committee, Carper recently voted in favor of Senator Joe Lieberman's bill to raise Homeland Defense to a Cabinet-level position. The President's proposal - which closely resembles the Lieberman bill - will be debated in the Government Affairs Committee as well.