Another John Kerry flipflop

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Another John Kerry flipflop …<$NoAd$>

Senators Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., Thursday proposed the creation of a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security with the authority and resources to carry out its mission effectively, while still being accountable to the public.

Sen. Committee on Governmental Affairs
Press Release
October 11th, 2001

Q But if we’re talking about consolidating all of these agencies, why not create a department of homeland security, as may lawmakers have suggested? And rather than take Customs, Border, whatever, and put it all under DOJ, why not bring it all under the auspices, under one umbrella of homeland security?

MR. FLEISCHER: The reason for that, John, is if you take a look at how the federal government is set up across the myriad of agencies or more than a dozen agencies, many of which have components that deal with homeland security in one form or another, I’m not aware of a single proposal on Capitol Hill that would take every single one of those agencies out from their current missions and put them under homeland security. So even if you took half of them out and put them under a Cabinet-level office of homeland security, the White House would still need, in the president’s estimation, an adviser on how to coordinate all the myriad of activities the federal government’s involved in. So, creating a cabinet office doesn’t solve the problem. You still will have agencies within the federal government that have to be coordinated. So the answer is that creating a Cabinet post doesn’t solve anything. The White House needs a coordinator to work with the agencies wherever they are.

Q So why, then, is the Lieberman bill a bad idea, in your estimation?

MR. FLEISCHER: The Lieberman bill. I don’t — (inaudible) — specifics. Do you want to define the Lieberman bill?

Ari Fleischer
White House Briefing
March 19th, 2002

Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa, and Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., Thursday called for a new structure within the executive branch to help fight the war against terrorism within United States borders. The proposal, building upon a bill introduced by Lieberman and Specter last year, would create a National Department for Homeland Defense to focus federal attention and resources on securing our borders and protecting the critical infrastructure.

Sen. Committee on Governmental Affairs
Press Release
April 11th, 2002

The Cabinet post idea has political appeal. For instance, a major sponsor is freshman Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., who sees it as enhancing his credentials on terrorism-related issues in a tough re-election fight with the expected GOP primary winner, Rep. Saxby Chambliss, chairman of the House subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security. Yet creating the 16th Cabinet department would represent an expansion of big government, a concept that the president makes a point of opposing.

Marianne Means
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
May 14, 2002

Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said today he would advise President Bush to veto any legislation creating a congressionally authorized Office of Homeland Security if Congress approves a bill this year. “I’d probably recommend he veto it,” Ridge told a National Journal Group editorial board meeting.

CongressDaily
May 30, 2002

So tonight, I ask the Congress to join me in creating a single, permanent department with an overriding and urgent mission: securing the homeland of America and protecting the American people.

George W. Bush
Address to the Nation
June 6th, 2002

Hundreds of lawmakers attending the White House barbecue Wednesday night had no idea what was unfolding. The only two believed to have been briefed, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), were told during the picnic. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), author of legislation much like the White House’s proposal, got a call from Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge Wednesday night asking about details of his bill — but Ridge didn’t give a hint of what was coming in the morning.

Washington Post
June 7th, 2002

I asked the Congress to work with me to come up with a new Department of Homeland Security to make sure that not only can this administration function better but future administrations will be able to deal with the true threats we face as we get into the 21st century, a Homeland Security Department which takes over the 100 different agencies and brings them under one umbrella so that there’s a single priority and a new culture, all aimed at dealing with the threats … The House responded, but the Senate is more interested in special interests in Washington and not interested in the security of the American people. I will not accept a Department of Homeland Security that does not allow this President and future Presidents to better keep the American people secure.

George W. Bush
Trenton, New Jersey
September 23rd, 2002

Like there’s not more where that came from?

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