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Democratic leaders call for FEMA back in Cabinet

Democrats are urging President Bush to return the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to Cabinet-level status.

The suggestion is contained in a counterterrorism proposal from congressional Democrats and national-security experts, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta.

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTo end sugar subsidies, conservatives can't launch a frontal attack House presses Senate GOP on filibuster reform A pro-science approach to Yucca Mountain appropriations MORE (D-Nev.) said, "Restore FEMA to its Cabinet-level status. It should've been done yesterday."

Podesta recommended direct FEMA access to the White House "like the Department of Homeland Security so that it has responsibility for consequence management."

The Democrats' proposals include tactical counterterrorism, strategic counterterrorism and homeland security.