Pelosi: ‘Republican Inability to Pass 9/11 Bill a Staggering Failure’

For Immediate Release:

November 20, 2004

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Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement this afternoon on the failure of the Republican Congress to enact the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission:

“Today, the House Republicans missed an opportunity to make the American people safer.  Their inability to overhaul our intelligence system is a staggering failure. 

“Rejecting the persistent pleas of the families of 9/11, House Republicans added insult to injury by reneging on a bipartisan agreement this afternoon that would have strengthened our intelligence agencies and better protected Americans against terrorism.

“House Republicans single-handedly doomed that compromise by insisting on weak and unrelated provisions.  When the 9/11 Commission issued its recommendations, it did so with urgency.  But that urgency was never matched by House Republicans, who did not want the 9/11 Commission in the first place, and who never truly wanted to pass a meaningful reform bill.

“Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House, and the blame for this failure is theirs alone.  Tragically and unnecessarily, they have squandered the best chance we had for reform.

“The urgent need remains.  For the safety of the American people, President Bush and the Republican Congress must insist on intelligence reform before this Congress adjourns.  We must reduce risk for the American people, honor the work of the 9/11 Commission, and bring comfort to the families of 9/11.”