This legislation provides for the implementation of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations remaining after the enactment of the Intelligence Reform bill in 2004. The bill's provisions include requiring major improvements in aviation security, border security, and infrastructure security; providing first responders the equipment and training they need; beefing up efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction; and significantly expanding diplomatic, economic, educational, and other strategies designed to counter Islamic terrorism.
In 2004, the 9/11 Commission submitted 41 recommendations to the Administration and Congress on improving homeland security, preventing terrorists from acquiring WMD, and developing strategies for preventing the spread of Islamic terrorism. Many have only been partially implemented and others not at all.
In December 2005, in its final report card, the 9/11 Commissioners gave the Administration and Congress many poor grades on implementing the recommendations, including 5 F's, 12 D's, 9 C's, and 2 Incompletes. A few months ago, they stated that the grades had not improved in 2006. For example, these grades include:
- A 'F' grade on providing a risk-based allocation of homeland security funding
- A 'F' grade on ensuring communications interoperability for first responders
- A 'D' grade on the screening of checked baggage and air cargo on passenger aircraft
- A 'D' grade on government information sharing
- A 'D' grade on preventing the proliferation of WMD and terrorism
Implementing the 9/11 Commission's recommendations is supported by 62 percent of Americans. [Gallup/USA Today poll, 10/06] It is also supported by several bipartisan and nonpartisan groups, including such groups representing 9/11 families as the Voices of September 11th and Families of September 11.