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This title establishes the Department of Homeland Security, defines its primary missions and responsibilities, and creates its principal offices.

Section 101. Executive department; mission.

This section establishes the Department of Homeland Security in the executive branch of the United States government and defines its primary missions and responsibilities. The primary missions of the department include preventing terrorist attacks within the United States, reducing the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism at home, and minimizing the damage and assisting in the recovery from any attacks that may occur. The Department’s primary responsibilities correspond to the five major functions established by the bill within the Department: information analysis and infrastructure protection; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and related countermeasures; border and transportation security; emergency preparedness and response; and coordination with other parts of the federal government, with state and local governments, and with the private sector. These primary missions and responsibilities are not exhaustive, and the Department will continue to carry out other functions of the agencies it will absorb.

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Section 102. Secretary; functions.

This section provides that the Department will be headed by a Secretary of Homeland Security appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The section gives the Secretary full authority and control over the Department and the duties and activities performed by its personnel, and it endows him with the authorities necessary to fulfill the Department’s statutory mission to protect the American homeland.

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Section 103. Other officers.

This section creates the personnel structure that will support the Secretary in carrying out the missions and responsibilities of the Department. The section establishes a senior management team consisting of up to twelve Senate-confirmed officials, including a Deputy Secretary, an Under Secretary for each of the four divisions within the Department, an Under Secretary for Management, and up to six additional Assistant Secretaries whose duties may be defined by the Secretary. Additionally, the section provides for appointment of a Senate-confirmed Inspector General and a Senate-confirmed Commandant of the Coast Guard, under the same conditions provided in current law. The Director of the Secret Service, who is not currently Senate confirmed, will be appointed by the President without Senate confirmation. The General Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Information Officer will also be presidential appointees not requiring Senate confirmation. The section authorizes appointment by the President of up to ten additional Assistant Secretaries; this will give the Secretary important flexibility in designing, structuring, and establishing the Department.

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