Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined 9/11 Commissioners Lee Hamilton and Tim Roemer, Congressman David Obey, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Congressman Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, and Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand of New York at a news conference today to discuss the implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations. Below are Pelosi's remarks:
'Five years ago on 9/11, our country suffered a tremendous loss. At that time, we promised the families affected by 9/11 that we would do everything in our power to protect the American people, fight terrorism, and to give comfort to those families. Two and a half years ago, the 9/11 Commission took giant steps to do just that.
'I am so honored that we are joined here today by two members of that Commission, the Vice Chairman and former Congressman, Lee Hamilton, and Congressman Tim Roemer. I thank them on behalf of everyone in our country for their leadership and service. Throughout the debate on 9/11 and its consequences and its aftermath, we have always said that any discussion of 9/11 is a discussion that is held on sacred ground.
'To the extent that we can do whatever we need in the most bipartisan way, we will strive to do that. To that end, tomorrow the House will be voting on our 9/11 Commission recommendation legislation. My colleagues are here to join us to talk about that today. It comes in four parts; first, the 9/11 Commission's bill itself, which Mr. Thompson will address on the provisions that relate directly to homeland security.
'Two of our colleagues who are not here, Congressman Ike Skelton and Congressman Tom Lantos, their committees jointly have jurisdiction over stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and they will manage that part of the bill. Mr. Lantos' committee has further jurisdiction over the public diplomacy aspects of the bill, and he will manage that.
'Before we get to the 9/11 Commission bill, though, we will have legislation that addresses congressional oversight. A very important part of the 9/11 Commission recommendations was criticism that Congress has not exercised appropriate, adequate oversight over the intelligence community.
'We all, Democrats and Republicans alike, take very seriously our responsibility to protect the American people. We know the important role that intelligence plays in that.
'To that end, we have worked with the Appropriations Committee and the Intelligence Committee, and Mr. Obey is here to speak to this issue, for a commission, a panel, an Intelligence-Appropriations panel, that will provide the budget oversight so necessary to have real oversight and true protection of the American people. So you'll be hearing more about the legislation as the meeting here unfolds.
'First, though, I want to acknowledge Mr. Tim Roemer who is here, another member of the Commission, our former colleague, a person whose legislation created the 9/11 Commission. Without him, there would have been no Commission. Without him, our country would be less safe.
'And, of course, we were very blessed to have, in the leadership of that commission, another former colleague, Congressman Hamilton. I thank both of them for their leadership to our country and their participation with us here today.'