EXPRESSING SENSE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF TERRORIST ATTACKS LAUNCHED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 -- (House of Representatives - September 13, 2006)
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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, there is no Democratic or Republican way to honor America. Let's get that straight.
This legislation minimizes the hurt of the families of 9/11. I make that contention. This is not acceptable. I don't say this as a Democrat. I am proud of that fact. I say this as an American who believes in God.
My friend, the gentleman from New York, is absolutely wrong when he says this is the same legislation as 2 years ago. I can agree with all of the ``resolves'' in this legislation, but when you look back into the ``whereases,'' to be very specific, the legislation 2 years ago had nothing in there about immigration when your party does not even agree on a position nor does ours. Why do we put in such a politically contentious issue when basically what we are saying here is we feel your hurt, families, and we want you to know we honor this?
Today I harbor great disappointment. I really do. The possibility for reaching true bipartisanship, which was done in the Senate, has been thwarted. A long list of shameful acts on this floor continues. We could have honored the lives lost during the terrorist attacks 5 years ago by voting on a truly bipartisan bill. When there is an opportunity for crass, in many ways cynical, politics in regard to security, these gentlemen and ladies have taken it. For shame.
Placing a commendation for this immigration security bill that barely passed the House last year within this resolution is from left field. We all know that the bill we are lauding here is one of the most divisive, mean-spirited pieces of legislation we have seen in recent years. So it is the ``resolved'' in this resolution that we agree with, but the ``whereases'' leave much to be desired. Inserting this in this 9/11 anniversary resolution is simply wrong. It is so typical of what we have come to expect.
We should be concerned about what the 9/11 Commission Public Discourse Project has given Congress for its efforts on homeland security. We should try in a bipartisan fashion to correct the D's and the F's, and many of us on both sides of the aisle have attempted to do that. Maybe we could actually improve how we screen baggage and cargo. Maybe we could address the vulnerabilities presented to our rail and our mass transit problems. Maybe, just maybe, we should finally give out grants to States and locals based on risk.
So I say, Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I think we could have done better, particularly on this hurtful incident in our country's history. And that is my point today.
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