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WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to President Bush's fourth national security speech in recent days:
"In a political speech calibrated for the November elections, President Bush outlined today changes in national security policy that have been made since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"But the fact is, the President and the Republican-controlled Congress have not made America as safe as it could and should be.
"Five years after 9/11, Osama bin Laden remains at large. The bipartisan 9/11 Commission gave the Bush Administration and Republican Congress 5 Fs, 12 Ds, and 2 Incompletes on everything from preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, to the screening of passengers and cargo on airplanes, to government-wide information sharing. America's foremost terrorism experts agree with their assessment, saying by an overwhelming margin of 86 percent that we are less safe since 9/11.
"Meanwhile, the nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran have increased dramatically and the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan.
"The commemoration of the fifth anniversary of 9/11 is a time of remembrance and resolve in the war on terror. But it also is a time to recognize that we are not as safe as we should be. Democrats are absolutely committed to protecting our nation and our people, and shoring up our vulnerabilities. Rather than pat themselves on the back for undertaking some necessary security changes, the President and this Republican Congress should join Democrats in focusing on our critical national security gaps."