Weldon: Unify homeland funding control

PHILADELPHIA — Power over the funding for homeland security is still spread among more than a dozen congressional committees, and that's a mistake, according to Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.).

"Congress has to step up to the plate [and] develop a homeland security committee with full jurisdiction over the dollars," said Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a member of the Select Committee on Homeland Security, which does not have the financial authority.

Still, Weldon said the Homeland Security Department has managed to thwart a number of terrorist threats using its new capacities to share information and utilize emerging technology.

He spoke today at the second annual Government Symposium on Information Sharing and Homeland Security, sponsored by the Government Emerging Technology Alliance.

The House last week approved DHS' $29.4 billion budget for fiscal 2004, but many Democrats and even some Republicans said more money is needed to secure the nation.

However, Weldon warned that it is important that "we don't throw too much money at the department. It's got to be methodical."

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