The Committee has originated a series of bipartisan legislative initiatives enacted by Congress and signed into law to organize and coordinate the federal government’s vast resources more effectively to prevent, prepare for, and, if necessary, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks or natural disasters, while also strengthening the capabilities of state and local governments, first responders, and the private sector.
In 2001 and 2002, the Committee led the effort to consolidate the 22 disparate agencies and bureaus responsible for disaster preparedness, prevention, and response into one Department of Homeland Security with the unified purpose of protecting the homeland. The Homeland Security Act passed Congress in November 2002. Congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention and Act of 2004, which created a Director of National Intelligence to coordinate the work of 15 federal intelligence agencies and established a National Counter Terrorism Center to analyze intelligence information – “connecting the dots” so the government could take effective action to detect, prevent, and disrupt terrorist activity.
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