9/11 RECOMMENDATIONS IMPLEMENTATION ACT -- (House of Representatives - October 07, 2004)
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Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me time.
It used to be an axiom of American politics that partisanship ended at the water's edge. We have no greater responsibility to our constituents than the security of this Nation.
On September 11, 2001, Republicans and Democrats died together in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Today tens of thousands of American troops, Democrats and Republicans alike, are battling insurgents and chasing al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Our police, firefighters and air marshals, Democrats and Republicans alike, are working every day to keep Americans safe.
In return, our troops, our first responders, and the American public expect us to organize the government so that we are better able to perform the mission of the defense of this country. In late July, the 9/11 Commission produced its report and laid out a series of recommendations that they believe would best ensure the security of the country. I said then and I say again today that the 9/11 Commission's recommendations should be the basis for any actions taken by this Congress in reorganizing and best configuring this government's response to the threat of terrorism.
The Menendez substitute closely adheres to the recommendations of the commission. It has no extraneous provisions that are not central to the mission of securing this Nation from terrorism. I also note that it has the support of the 9/11 families and their voices are ones we should not ignore. It grants more authority to the National Intelligence Director to enact real reforms in the intelligence community and creates a more powerful national counterterrorism center than the one proposed by the base bill. And, most important, it includes a mandate supported by the commission to strengthen Nunn-Luger's cooperative threat reduction and the Proliferation Security Initiative.
The threat of a nuclear weapon falling into the wrong hands is the most significant threat we face.
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Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time, and I rise in support of the Menendez substitute, a substitute that closely adheres to the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and most importantly, from my point of view, incorporates the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that we strengthen our efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear material, technology, and expertise around the world.
In the Committee on the Judiciary, I offered a series of amendments, some which adopt the language now found in the Menendez substitute, which was in McCain-Lieberman, to strengthen our nonproliferation efforts; others that identify and prioritize the sites of highly-enriched uranium around the world, those amendments were adopted. I want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for their support in committee. They were also supported by the Chair of the Committee on International Relations.
But for some reason, Mr. Chairman, they were stripped out of this bill prior to its arrival on the floor, leaving this base bill far weaker than the substitute when it comes to the number one danger facing this country, as the President and Senator Kerry outlined in the debates, the threat of nuclear terrorism. The Menendez substitute addresses this problem, and I support it.