House Reaches Agreement on Intelligence Reform, Then Scuttles Deal; 9/11 Commission Caucus Chairs Call Situation, “Not Just Disappointing, but Dangerous”

Nov 20, 2004
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Congress recessed today without enacting the intelligence reform born out of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations. Reps. Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who chair the 9/11 Commission Caucus, introduced bipartisan legislation in the House to enact the commission's recommendations and have strongly advocated quick enactment of bipartisan reform, today said the decision to again postpone intelligence reform is a dangerous one. The partners released the following joint statement:

“From the moment the Commission's report was released, we have worked with commissioners and the 9-11 families most deeply involved in the Commission's work over the past three years to achieve a bill true to the spirit of the Commission's recommendations, and the quick enactment of such a bill. Congress' unwillingness to enact this legislation to implement the commission's universally-praised recommendations is more than disappointing, it's dangerous.

“Two members of Congress are now standing in the way of passage of these needed reforms, over the objections of President Bush and the Speaker. Had the bill been brought to the floor we have no doubt that it would have passed the House by a wide margin and reform -- badly needed reform -- could have begun.

“Every week, we see new examples of faulty intelligence and the broken system that perpetuates it. Meanwhile, terrorists continue to plot. The time that will be lost waiting for the House to get it's act together is frankly more time than we can afford to continue living under a dysfunctional intelligence system that continues to stumble on a regular basis. We are hopeful the two remaining House Chairmen will agree in the coming days to the strong intelligence reform bill agreed to with the Senate. The fact is, our government has missed an enormous opportunity to make this country safer, and each day brings unnecessary risk as a result."