Statement of Kean and Hamilton on passage of legislation

December 8, 2004

Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, former Chair and Vice Chair
of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
(9-11 Commission) today released the following statement:

We thank the Senate and the House of Representatives for their approval of legislation to implement recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. We are deeply gratified that this measure has now been cleared for the President’s signature. Enactment of this legislation will enhance the safety of the American people.

President Bush, leaders in both chambers on both sides of the aisle, and the conferees – especially Senators Collins and Lieberman and Reps. Hoekstra and Harman— made significant contributions to the passage of this conference report. We thank them. Their determination and commitment made all the difference.

Implementation of this far-reaching and complex legislation presents the Executive branch with a significant challenge. The Congress also has a critical role to play in ensuring that the intent of this legislation is fulfilled. We stand ready to assist. While passage of this legislation implements many of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations with respect to the Executive branch, the Legislative branch still needs to act to reform Congressional oversight.

Some of the Commission’s recommendations – on foreign policy, non-proliferation, outreach to the Arab and Islamic world, and public safety access to broadcast spectrum – while partially addressed here, cannot be resolved by legislation alone. They will require additional and continued attention, and we look forward to working with partners both outside and inside the government on their behalf.

With landmark legislation on its way to the President, we have come very far on the road to reform. We want to complete the task. We remain committed to working with Congress and the President on behalf of a safer, more secure country.