WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) today voted to make our nation safer by implementing the unfulfilled recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The legislation passed 371-40.
“I am pleased that both bodies of Congress have voted to approve the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations,” stated Pascrell, a former member of the House Homeland Security Committee. “This bill was labeled H.R. 1 for a good reason. It is because security is the first priority of this Congress.”
In July 2004, the bipartisan 9/11 Commission submitted its recommendations to Congress on how to better protect America from terrorism. Unfortunately, for the next two and a half years, the Republican-led Congress failed to enact most of these recommendations into law.
Key provisions of the Congressionally approved 9/11 bill include an ideological shift towards a strictly risk-based approach to state homeland security grant funding, improved communications interoperability for first responders, tighter security measures for transportations and critical infrastructure, requirements to inspect all maritime cargo containers entering the United States, and preventative measures against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
“Implementation of these recommendations will be a security windfall for the State of New Jersey,” stated Pascrell. “It will equip our first responders with the resources they need to secure communities, revolutionize port security, and seal off access to our chemical plants and other critical infrastructure. These are some of the steps we must take to shed New Jersey’s dubious distinction as home to America’s two most dangerous miles.”
The measure comes on the heels of the new National Intelligence Estimate, which states that Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network has been able to restore key capabilities for launching another attack on U.S. soil. Thomas Kean, Chairman of the 9/11 Commission and former governor of New Jersey, has stated that this 9/11 legislation “is a very big step forward. It will make our nation safer.”
“The recommendation should have been implemented years ago, but this legislation is better late than never. Now it is up to the administration to finally enact America’s most pressing security concerns.”