House Passes 9/11 Commission Recommendations
July 27, 2007 (WASHINGTON) – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives, in concurrence with the Senate, passed the Conference report of H.R. 1, the “Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007,” also known as the 9/11 Commission Recommendations bill. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement:
“Almost three years ago today, ten American patriots came forward and spoke with one unified—bipartisan—voice. What they said in their 567-page report fundamentally changed America’s view of its security. Quite simply, the 9/11 Commission did its job and told us what must be done to deter and prevent future terrorist attacks on our nation.
“When Congress didn’t do its job to implement their recommendations, the 9/11 Commissioners stayed vigilant and formed the ‘9/11 Discourse Project.’ They did so, as they explained, because – ‘The perils of inaction are far too high-and the strategic value of the Commission's findings too important- for the work of the 9-11 Commission NOT to continue.’ Unfortunately, the Project’s December 2005 ‘Report Card’ found little progress was made on addressing known vulnerabilities and gaps in our nation’s security.
“Still, the 109th Congress did not do its job.
“On January 5th, at the direction of Speaker Pelosi, I introduced H.R. 1— a bill to complete the unfinished business of the 9/11 Commission with 200 of my colleagues. Today, I am privileged to present a bipartisan Conference Report that finally fulfills the recommendations. This report passed the Senate just before midnight by a vote of 85 to 8.
“When H.R. 1 is law, homeland security grants will finally be allocated based on risk. Targeted communities will get the Federal help they need. First responders will have interoperable communications.
“When H.R. 1 is law, information necessary to uncover terrorist plots will be exchanged between Federal and local law enforcement. Would-be terrorists will not be able to exploit the Visa Waiver Program. Privacy and civil liberties WILL be central in how we approach homeland security. Our rail, mass transit, and aviation systems will be more secure.
“When H.R. 1 is law, 100% of U.S.-bound cargo will be scanned in a commerce-friendly manner.
“Though I am disappointed that collective bargaining and whistleblower rights for TSA screeners were not included in the final report, I applaud Senator Lieberman and the 42 other Conferees who stood with us on this important legislation. Their hard work, combined with the Leadership of Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer, assured that this effort came to fruition.
“Frederick Douglass once said – ‘The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.’
“Thank you to the 9/11 Commission for exemplifying these values. And thank you to the 9/11 Families and everyone else who would not let us forget what was at stake if we did not act.”
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FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Dena Graziano or Todd Levett at (202) 225-9978.