HOEFFEL REACTION TO COMMITTEE HEARING FEATURING 9/11 COMMISSION CO-CHAIRMEN KEAN AND HAMILTON
Washington, DC (August 24, 2004) - U.S. Rep. Joseph M. Hoeffel (PA-13) today participated in a House International Relations Committee hearing featuring testimony by Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, better known as the 9/11 Commission.
During questioning, both Kean and Hamilton agreed with Hoeffel's contention that the U.S. should take a more active role in the Middle East peace process, because peace between Israel and the Palestinians would help the fight on terrorism.
Kean said the U.S. should "be as involved as possible" in the Middle East process, because the Muslim world views the U.S. as one of the problems in the Middle East and peace between Israel and the Palestinians would help to remove that perception.
Hoeffel also asked Kean and Hamilton about a modern-day Marshall Plan for the Muslim world, something he has been championing for several years, and both agreed with the concept. Hamilton added there should be "strict conditionality" on such an aid program to guarantee proper use of the funding.
The following is Hoeffel's statement on the hearing:
"I was in the presence today of two American heroes, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton. They conducted the 9/11 Commission hearings and process with unprecedented bipartisanship, and I hope Congress, and in particular the Republican and Democratic leadership, can reach that level of cooperation as we consider the 9/11 Commission recommendations this fall.
"There are many actions that need to be considered and taken, but among those I believe are the most important are:
Extension of the 9/11 Commission mandate with congressional funding to allow monitoring and support for its recommendations
The creation of a National Director of Intelligence with full operational and budgeting control over all intelligence agencies
The establishment of a National Center for Counter-terrorism
Unifying and strengthening of congressional oversight."