Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D- San Jose), today submitted the following statement for the record as prepared, regarding The 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act (H.R. 10):
“The independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission, issued its report on July 22nd. A full 78 days have passed since this important document was published. Today we are voting on a bill entitled, ‘9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act.’ If you just read the title of the bill, you might think the House is finally acting on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
“Yet, upon closer examination of the bill, you realize the title has little to do with the bill’s content.
“There are several provisions in this bill that have absolutely nothing to do with the recommendations by the bipartisan, independent 9/11 Commission. There are others that simply miss the point made by recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Worse yet, there are several Commission recommendations that are totally ignored.
“Out of 41 recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, only 11 are addressed in the bill, 15 are incomplete, and 15 were totally ignored. Over 50 extraneous ‘poison pill’ provisions that were not recommended by the Commission are included.
“In H.R. 10, the Republican leadership simply ignored some of the most important recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission. H.R. 10:
· Fails to give the National Intelligence Director sufficient authority over the budget and personnel of the intelligence agencies;
· Fails to strengthen U.S. efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons;
· Fails to secure U.S. borders by integrating disparate screening systems;
· Fails to mandate and fund the use of explosive detection devices for airline safety;
· Fails to provide radio spectrum for first responders to communicate during emergencies;
· Fails to provide additional security assistance to Afghanistan or economic development assistance to Arab and Muslim countries.
“H.R. 10 contains several provisions that undermine Commission recommendations by weakening Congressional oversight and giving the President too much power in reorganizing the intelligence agencies. The bill includes controversial immigration and tort provisions that had nothing to do with 9/11 Commission recommendations. They will delay or ultimately frustrate enactment of 9/11 Commission recommendations.
“The bipartisan, independent 9/11 Commission should not be exploited today to enact the majority party’s agenda that has very little to do with the Commission’s recommendations.
“It is time for the Republican leadership in this House to take the 9/11 Commission seriously. We should pass a bill that truly implements the 9/11 Commission recommendations, such as the bill that was passed by the Senate yesterday, or the Menendez amendment in the House today. Unlike H.R. 10, the Senate bill was worked out in a bipartisan fashion with a vote of 96-2, and has been endorsed by the 9/11 Commission.
“More importantly, the Menendez substitute has the strong support of the 9/11 families who know too well the tremendous suffering that comes with a terrorist attack.
“The Republican leadership in this House is ignoring the families of the 9/11 victims, the 9/11 Commission, and a strong agreement reached in the Senate in a bipartisan fashion. It is time for the Republicans to stop playing politics with our nation’s security. Let’s vote against H.R. 10 and instead for a bill that represents a consensus across the political spectrum.”