creating a Homeland Security Department is currently bogged down
in the Senate amid a dispute over worker rights, AP reports.
Democrats object to President Bush's demands to hire, fire, promote
and demote workers in the new agency and to exempt them from union
coverage for reasons of national security.
Sept. 7 during his weekly radio address he may veto the bill:
"I will not accept a homeland security bill that ties the
hands of this administration or future administrations in defending
our nation against terrorist attacks."
compromise centers on the union issues, which would affect about
43,000 of the department's prospective 170,000 employees. Under
the proposal, Bush still would be able to exempt workers from
union agreements for national security reasons, but they would
have greater rights to a quick appeal.
A final agreement
must be worked out with the GOP-led House, which in July passed
a version much closer to Bush's plan.