Origins and Evolution
Not all of DHS’ architects envisioned the huge, multifaceted organization that exists today. The George W. Bush administration resisted the creation of a new department. Former Rep. Jane Harman, who took part in the discussions to create DHS and spent eight years on its House oversight committee, said some lawmakers also had a more limited government shakeup in mind.
“Our conception was a White House manager who would coordinate homeland functions,” said Harman, a California Democrat who’s now president of the Woodrow Wilson Center, a nonpartisan policy forum on global issues.
Instead, the Bush administration forged a compromise with a faction of congressional Democrats who wanted to see terrorism and emergency-related ...