A Senate panel considering Tom Ridge's nomination to head the new cabinet-level Homeland Security Department approved him unanimously Friday.
Confirmation by the full Senate is expected to come quickly, so Ridge will be in place when the department is officially established next week.
Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby has been critical of agencies not sharing information.
"I personally believe the success of Homeland Security will depend for the most part on what type of analytical machine you put together," said Shelby," the analytical component, the analysis center of intelligence.
Ridge told Senators the new agency won't be able to prevent all efforts to strike at Americans.
Some committee members said they fear anti-terrorism efforts will erode civil rights.