Shays, Maloney, 9/11 Families Push for More Action on 9/11 Commission Recommendations
WASHINGTON, DC – Nearly two years after the 9/11 Commission issued its final report, Representatives Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Co-Chairs of the 9/11 Commission Caucus, again called for Congressional action on the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations which still have not been fully implemented. They were joined by family members who lost loved ones on September 11th, including Carol Ashley, mother of Janice; Rosemary Dillard, wife of Eddie; Mary Fetchet, mother of Brad & co-founder of Voices of September 11th; Don Goodrich, father of Peter; and Abraham Scott, husband of Janice Marie.
Last December, the 9/11 Public Discourse Project graded the government on implementation of their recommendations, issuing a failing, near-failing or average grade on action on 27 of their 41 recommendations. As a result, Shays and Maloney introduced H.R. 5017, the Ensuring Implementation of the 9/11 Commission Report Act, which addresses each of the recommendation and holds the appropriate agency accountable for reporting to Congress on its actions. Click here to see the 9/11 Public Discourse Project’s report card: http://www.9-11pdp.org/press/2005-12-05_summary.pdf.
The bill is endorsed by 9/11 Commissioners Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, Voices of September 11th Co-Founder and Director Mary Fetchet and Carie Lemack, daughter of Judy Larocque and Co-Founder of Families of September 11th. Click here to read the Commissioners’ endorsement letter: http://maloney.house.gov/documents/911recovery/20060602KeanHamilton.pdf.
“When the 9/11 Commission tells us the government has earned more F’s than A’s on implementing their recommendations, it means we have some serious work left to do,” Shays said. “We are safer, thanks to progress reforming the intelligence community, but we are still not safe. Almost two years after the Commission released its 41 thoughtful proposals, there are 27 for which the government received an average, near-failing or failing grade. Today we are reminding the American people and Congress that the 9/11 Commission’s work cannot be in vain; it’s time for more action.”
“Far too many of the Commission’s recommendations remain untouched and ignored,” Maloney said. “The Commission gave us a well-informed report, a blueprint for improving our security. Congress has let much of it sit on a shelf and collect dust. Instead of sitting still, we need to use the Commission’s guidance to make this country safer.”
Following today's press conference, Shays chaired a hearing of the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, of which Maloney is a senior member. During the hearing, entitled "9/11 Commission Recommendations: Balancing Civil Liberties and Security," the Representatives heard testimony from 9/11 Commissioners Kean and Hamilton; Chair Carol Dinkins and Vice Chair Alan Raul of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board; and families who lost loved ones on September 11th. They looked broadly at the work which remains to implement the recommendations, with a particular focus on the status of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s work.
In their testimony Commissioners Kean and Hamilton said, “We analyzed the 41 recommendations from another standpoint: Where do we need legislation, and where do we need work on implementation? We found that roughly half of the Commission’s were addressed by legislation, primarily in the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. The bigger problem, we have found, is the challenge of implementation. Even when the letter of our recommendations was written into law, implementation has been lagging.”
“In some cases, implementation can be expected to take years. In every case, Congress needs to provide robust oversight to ensure that reforms are carried out. For this reason, we welcome and strongly support the bill H.R. 5017 introduced by Chairman Shays and Representative Maloney,” Kean and Hamilton continued. “H.R. 5017, a bill to ensure implementation of the recommendations of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, changes the law where necessary to carry out the Commission’s recommendations. Just as importantly, H.R. 5017 shines a bright light on the question of implementation and ensuring that Executive branch agencies stay focused on carrying out what the law already requires.” Click here to read their full testimony: http://www.house.gov/shays/news/2006/june/testimony060606.doc.