Statement on the Failure to Bring 9/11 Legislation to a Vote
November 20, 2004
It is unconscionable that the compromise 9/11 Intelligence reform bill, negotiated with the help of Speaker Hastert’s own staff, and quickly approved by Senate conferees, will not go to the House floor for a vote as anticipated. The legislation has been obstructed by the intransigence of two conferees: Representatives Duncan Hunter and James Sensenbrenner. They remain unapologetic as they pursue an agenda that is contrary to the express wishes of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, both of whom have called them to convey support for the agreed on bill.
We continue to be disappointed in Speaker Hastert’s failure to deliver on his long-overdue personal promise to us that the Intel Reform bill would be completed by early November.
The failure to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote is particularly troubling because we believe the bill would have passed by a wide majority in the House. There are many House members of good conscience who know that the country needs these reforms and that these constant delays mean Americans continue to be exposed to greater risk of another attack.
The 9/11 Commission, the Senate, the House Democrats and the 9/11 Family Steering Committee have endorsed this proposed legislation. It is inconceivable to us that two House members can hold this bill hostage and keep America in peril.
Because of our personal loss on September 11th we recognize firsthand what terrorism can do here in America. The most important legislation of the 108th Congress remains unfinished –the 9/11 Intelligence Reform bill. Once again we call upon the President and Speaker Hastert to show the political courage required and override an obstructionist minority in the interest of making our nation safer.