(WASHINGTON, DC) – News reports indicate that the White House will announce its plans for a new Department of Homeland Security, and that the President will submit a proposal to Congress by the end of this year.

Sen. Murray issued the following statement:

"The news reports of recent weeks have indicated that in order to effectively thwart future terrorist attacks, America's federal agencies must improve their communications. The Office of Homeland Security is the one agency that can integrate, coordinate and oversee each of the disparate departments in the federal government that have role in homeland defense.

I have appreciated Governor Ridge's responsiveness in working with me on a number of important issues for Washington state including getting the National Guard deployed to our Northern Border, seaport and airport security issues, and training.

I look forward to seeing the details of the President's proposal and to working with the Administration and Governor Ridge to create this position, and make the additional changes that are needed to protect our homeland and our people.

In addition to the President's proposals, it is essential that Congress continue its inquiries into September 11th and what went wrong. We are beginning to uncover a variety of information and clues leading up to the September 11th tragedy, and in the weeks to come we will learn more. Only after we have conducted this important inquiry can we begin to make our nation as secure as possible in the future."