MENENDEZ: HOUSE REPUBLICANS CHOOSE PARTISANSHIP OVER SECURITY

Menendez Amendment Rejected by House Republicans

For Immediate Release:

October 8, 2004

Contact:Andrew Kauders, Rep. Menedez
202-226-3210

WASHINGTON, DC -- House Democratic Caucus Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today made the following statement following the defeat of the Menendez Amendment by a vote of 213 to 203.  The amendment merged two bi-partisan 9/11 Senate bills (Collins/Lieberman, S. 2845; McCain/Lieberman, S.2774) endorsed by the 9/11 Commission, and supported by a majority of 9/11 families. 

“Tonight, House Republicans rejected the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission; rejected the wishes of a majority of 9/11 families; rejected the bi-partisan efforts of the United States Senate; and blatantly undermined our nation’s security. 

“With tonight’s vote, House Republicans are on record for shamelessly disregarding thoughtful, intelligent and effective reform endorsed and passed by Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans.  Instead, the extremist House Republican leadership chose partisanship over security.

“There will be a real consequence to enacting the House Republican bill, H.R. 10 -- legislation that appears to try to do something about homeland security, but that leaves us far short of where the 9/11 Commission and the families have said we need to be.  The People’s House was obligated to serve this nation and those families well by truly protecting our country from further terrorist attacks.  But on this one issue, Republicans failed to put partisanship aside.

“The Menendez amendment implemented the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission’s report, but was rejected by the partisan fervor of the House Republican leadership.  It is a real disgrace that in matters of intelligence reform and homeland security, this Congress, and this Republican Majority, was unable to do what is best for the American People.”