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 Home > News & Policies > Policies in Focus > Homeland Security

Homeland Security Front Page Homeland Security Front Page Homeland Security Front Page
President George W. Bush signs HR 5467, The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for the Fiscal Year 2005, in the Oval Office Monday, Oct. 18, 2004. White House photo by Tina Hager.
President George W. Bush signs HR 5467, The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for the Fiscal Year 2005, in the Oval Office Monday, Oct. 18, 2004. White House photo by Tina Hager.

Improving Homeland Security

  • With strong bipartisan support President Bush created the Department of Homeland Security – the most comprehensive reorganization of the Federal government in a half-century. The Department of Homeland Security consolidates 22 agencies and 180,000 employees, unifying once-fragmented Federal functions in a single agency dedicated to protecting America from terrorism.
  • President Bush has nearly tripled homeland security discretionary funding.
  • More than $18 billion has been awarded to state and local governments to protect the homeland.
  • The Bush Administration developed a comprehensive National Strategy for Homeland Security, focused on six key areas: intelligence and warning; border and transportation security; domestic counterterrorism; protecting critical infrastructure; defending against catastrophic threats; and emergency preparedness and response.
  • The Administration developed national strategies to help secure cyberspace and the infrastructures and assets vital to our public health, safety, political institutions, and economy.
  • The President authorized the establishment of the United States Northern Command, to provide for integrated homeland defense and coordinated Pentagon support to Federal, state, and local governments.
  • For the first time, the President has made countering and investigating terrorist activity the number one priority for both law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The Bush Administration has transformed the FBI into an agency whose primary mission is to prevent terrorist attacks and increased its budget by 60 percent.

Improving Intelligence

  • President Bush proposed the most thoroughgoing reorganization of the intelligence community in more than a half-century. The President supports the creation of a National Intelligence Director to serve as his principal intelligence advisor. He will also establish a National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and strongly supports the 9/11 Commission's recommendations to reorganize congressional oversight for both intelligence and homeland security.
  • In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush announced the creation of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) to synthesize information collected within the United States and abroad about possible terrorist threats.
  • The Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) was launched to consolidate terrorist watch lists and provide continual operational support for Federal, state, and local screeners and law enforcement.
  • The FBI has established a new Executive Director for Intelligence and specially-trained intelligence analysts.
  • The Department of Homeland Security Information Network is connected to all 50 states and more than 50 major urban areas, and allows information sharing among thousands of local agencies and the Homeland Security Operations Center.

New Tools to Fight Terrorism

  • President Bush won overwhelming support for the USA PATRIOT Act, a law that gives intelligence and law enforcement officials important new tools to fight terrorists. This legislation has prevented terrorist attacks and saved American lives.
  • The dramatic increase in information sharing allowed by the PATRIOT Act has enabled law enforcement to find and dismantle terror cells in Portland, Oregon; Lackawanna, New York; and Northern Virginia.
  • Warrants are now applicable across state and district lines, eliminating the need to obtain multiple warrants for the same person – a lengthy process that previously hindered counterterrorism efforts.
  • Law enforcement officials have been given better tools to fight terrorism, including roving wire taps and the capacity to seize assets and end financial counterfeiting, smuggling and money-laundering.
  • Judges are now able to impose stiffer sentences on terrorists.

Supporting First Responders

  • The President's 2005 budget reflects a 780 percent increase in funding for first responders since September 11th.
  • Since September 11th, more than a half-million first responders across America have been trained.
  • The Bush Administration has proposed doubling the level of first responder preparedness grants targeted to high-threat urban areas. The Urban Area Security Initiative enhances the ability of large urban areas to prepare for and respond to threats or acts of terrorism.

Strengthening Defenses Against Biological, Chemical, and Radiological Weapons

  • President Bush signed into law Project BioShield, an unprecedented, $5.6 billion effort to develop vaccines and other medical responses to biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological weapons.
  • The Bush Administration is investing more than $7 billion across all aspects of biodefense. In the last three years, the Administration has created the BioWatch program to monitor major cities for a biological release, procured sufficient smallpox vaccine for all citizens, and significantly increased stocks of antibiotics against anthrax.
  • State and local health systems have been provided more than $4.4 billion to bolster their ability to respond to public health crises.
  • The Bush Administration undertook several initiatives to detect radiological materials being smuggled into our Nation, issuing thousands of portable radiation detectors to border control personnel and installing radiation detection portals at ports of entry.
  • Security and research to protect the Nation's food supply from terrorists has increased, adding millions of dollars in funding and hundreds of food inspectors.

Improving Aviation, Border, and Port Security

  • To support improved border and transportation security, funding levels have increased by $9 billion since September 11th.
  • Aviation security has been improved from the curb to the cockpit. Hardened cockpit doors have been installed on all US commercial aircraft. Flight deck crews are being trained to carry guns in the cockpit. Thousands of air marshals are being deployed daily. All checked baggage now is being screened. And canine teams are now positioned at every major airport to search for explosives.
  • Over the last three years, nearly $15 billion has been devoted to strengthening aviation security.
  • The visa issuance process has been tightened to better screen foreign visitors; the US-VISIT program was created to use cutting-edge biometrics to check the identity of foreign travelers; and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System was created to verify foreign student activity in the United States.
  • New Coast Guard vessels and specialized maritime security units have been added.
  • The Container Security Initiative was developed to allow US inspectors to screen high-risk shipping containers at major foreign ports before they are loaded in ships bound for America.
  • The National Targeting Center was created to vet passenger lists of aircraft and container shippers to identify high-risk individuals and shipments. Today, 100 percent of high-risk cargo containers are examined by US inspectors.

Helping Victims of the September 11th Attacks

  • The Administration implemented a $40 billion emergency response package to begin the recovery from the attacks and to protect national security.
  • President Bush signed legislation that sped compensation to the family of each fallen police officer, firefighter, and rescuer.
  • The President, working closely with Congress, created the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which established a streamlined claim process for victims of the September 11th attacks to receive compensation. The Fund will provide a total of about $7 billion in financial aid.
  • More than 10,000 business owners across the Nation were approved for more than $1 billion in disaster loans to help deal with the economic consequences of the attacks.


Top News

October 29, 2004
President Bush: "We will not be intimidated"

October 18, 2004
President's Remarks on Homeland Security in New Jersey

October 18, 2004
Fact Sheet: Providing the Resources Necessary to Protect America

October 7, 2004
President Bush Discusses Iraq Report

September 21, 2004
New Approach to Border Security Shows Results in Just Six Months

September 11, 2004
Three Years of Progress in the War on Terror

August 1, 2004
Secretary Ridge Announces the increased threat level to Code Orange for the financial services sector in New York City, Northern New Jersey and Washington, DC.

July 22, 2004
President Bush Discusses Progress in Homeland Security in Illinois

July 21, 2004
President Bush Signs Project Bioshield Act of 2004

July 15, 2004
TSA Begins Third Phase of Rail Security Experiment

July 6, 2004
Secretary Ridge Announces Homeland Security National Center for Food Protection and Defense

June 21, 2004
Ridge Announces New Nationwide Port Security Improvements

May 25, 2004
A Better Prepared America: AYear in Review

May 17, 2004
Secretary Ridge Statement on European Commission Decision

April 28, 2004
Biodefense for the 21st Century

April 28, 2004
Bioterrorism Preparedness Discussed on Ask the White House

April 20, 2004
President Bush: Information Sharing, Patriot Act Vital to Homeland Security

April 19, 2004
President Bush Calls for Renewing the USA PATRIOT Act

April 19, 2004
Secretary Ridge Discusses Homeland Security in Las Vegas

March 2, 2004
President Highlights Homeland Security's Accomplishments at Year One

February 5, 2004
Protecting America's Seaports and Securing Cargo Shipments

February 2, 2004
DHS Announces FY 2005 Budget

January 9, 2004
National Threat Level Lowered

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Current Threat Level

Last update: November 18, 2004

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Click Here for Homeland Security State Contact List

Homeland Security Across the Nation
Select your state or territory to see who your Governor has appointed as your state's homeland security contact.

Ask the White House
April 28, 2004
Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Parney Albright, discussed bioterrorism preparedness. Read the transcript.
Parney Albright
March 2, 2004
Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Admiral James Loy discussed Homeland Security's anniversary. Read the transcript.
Admiral James Loy
February 5, 2004
DHS Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson discussed border and transportation security. Read the transcript.
Asa Hutchinson

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