An Open Letter to the President and Conferees
November 8, 2004
Dear Mr. President and Conferees:
The election is over and politics are finally behind us. However, this Congress and this Administration still have significant unfinished business. Specifically, the bill implementing the 9/11 Commission’s reforms must be passed before the end of the year, and we —the 9/11 families— are not going away until the job is done.
Mr. President, in your acceptance speech, you spoke of unity. What better way to bring this nation and this Congress together, than by working in bipartisan fashion to successfully implement the intelligence reforms? Conferees, you must join the President in that bipartisan effort. Only then can Americans be assured that our government is doing everything in its power to keep us safe.
The 15 agencies comprising the intelligence community remain collectively dysfunctional. Progress on the 9/11 reform bill which addresses those problems is in danger of reaching an impasse. Yet, as Commission Chairman Tom Kean has repeatedly stated, it is better to have no bill at all than to have a weak bill that will give the country a false sense of security. We, the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission, therefore continue to oppose any bill that merely gives the appearance of having corrected those problems.
Mr. President, your reelection provides you with the opportunity to turn your full attention to this important legislation. The 9/11 reform bill will not become law unless you step in. You, as President, must take charge and use the capital you now have from the voters to make this bill happen. Its passage will ensure your legacy as a president determined to protect this country from terrorism.
The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission