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Public Statements

Letter to Dennis Hastert and Nancy Pelosi

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


July 22, 2004

The Honorable Dennis Hastert
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Speaker and Ms. Minority Leader:

As you know, after nearly 20 months of work, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9-11 Commission) issued its findings and recommendations to the public today. We are writing to express our support for the work of the Commission and to urge the Congress to move forward on the Commission's recommendations on a bipartisan basis as soon as possible.

In its report, the Commission issued 37 recommendations to help prevent future terrorist attacks, including details of a global strategy and government reorganization necessary to implement that strategy. The Commission cited the need to attack terrorists and their organizations; prevent the continued growth of Islamic terrorism; and protect and prepare for terrorist attacks. To implement that strategy, it cited the need to unify U.S government efforts by linking intelligence and operational planning in a new National Counterterrorism Center; uniting the intelligence community under a National Intelligence Director; encouraging information sharing among decentralized government networks; strengthening congressional oversight and intelligence and homeland security; and strengthening existing national security workforce.

Congress also conducted our own Joint Inquiry into the events of September 11. Combined with the comprehensive work of the Commission, and the work of the Senate Intelligence Committee, it seems to us we are ably prepared to act in the best interests of the country to better prevent another attack on our homeland.

After 20 months of work by the Commission, and nearly three years after the September 11 attacks, there is not a moment to lose in moving forward with the Commission's recommendations. We appreciate the Speaker's stated commitment in this regard. While the recommendations must be debated fully, and may be adjusted, we urge that hearings begin the first week of September, as soon as Congress reconvenes.

It seems to us that beginning hearings on the Commission's findings before another anniversary of the attacks passes would be an important signal to the families of the victims, as well as to all the American people, that Congress will work together on behalf of our great nation to help make this country safer.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Christopher Shays
Mike Pence
Mike Castle
Rob Simmons
Christopher Smith
Carolyn Maloney
Dutch Ruppersberger
Jim Cooper
Jerry Nadler

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