WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding legislation that would provide the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the “9/11 Commission”) a two-month extension for its inquiry:
“When President Bush signed legislation in November 2002 that created the 9/11 Commission, he said that its ‘investigation should carefully examine all evidence and follow all the facts, wherever they lead.’ The President explained that, ‘We must uncover every detail and learn every lesson of September the 11th.’
“I absolutely agree with the President’s statements then and appreciate his support for legislation providing for a two-month extension for the Commission’s inquiry now. The American people do not – and should not – care about the arbitrary deadline for this inquiry included in the legislation creating the Commission. The American people want to be assured that their elected representatives and officials charged with our nation’s defense have learned every conceivable lesson from the barbaric attacks on September 11th so that any future attack on our nation is prevented.
“Anything less than an aggressive and full inquiry into 9/11 is not only a disservice to the American people, but it is irresponsible. Giving the Commission more time to complete its inquiry is not a matter of politics it is the fulfillment of our paramount duty to protect our nation from attack.
“Thus, I call on the House Republican Leadership to bring a bill to extend the Commission’s deadline for submitting a final report to the House Floor as quickly as possible.
“I am also dismayed by recent news reports that charge the Administration has impeded access to documents and access to officials. If true, these accusations fly in the face of the President’s commitment of full cooperation with the Commission, and, in my view, literally compel this Congress to pass legislation ensuring that the Commission can complete its important work.”