News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today the U.S. Senate passed legislation to establish a new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security.

Sen. Murray released the following statement:

"The Senate today took an important step to combat domestic terrorism and improve safety at home. The Department of Homeland Security will help protect our communities by coordinating prevention and response efforts throughout the country. The legislation also maintains the integrity of the Coast Guard, so that the important functions of search and rescue, drug interdiction, and environmental protection will not be degraded.

Throughout his tenure, I have found Governor Tom Ridge to be a responsive member of this Administration, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in a constructive manner. But while much of this legislation is important and necessary, I am concerned about several of the provisions.

First, are the special interest gifts to the pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries that House Republican leaders slipped into the bill last week.

Second, are the new surveillance powers granted to the federal government, and the potential impact on Americans' civil liberties. The Administration has assured Congress and the American people that the new authority will be used judiciously, and the Administration now must act responsibly and prudently.

Third, I believe that men and women who serve their country in uniform are entitled to the same civil service protections as other federal workers, and I am disappointed that because of this bill, some workers will lose important rights.

I intend to work with the new Department to protect our state's interests and will continue to monitor the implementation of this bill."