Families of September 11 is now operating as the For Action Initiative. The web pages on this site are available for informational purposes only. Please visit us at www.foractioninitiative.org.

January 5, 2005

FOS11 Statement RE House Homeland Security Committee

Families of September 11 is pleased that the House of Representatives has created a permanent Homeland Security Committee. This is a critical step in recognizing and preventing terrorist attacks that continue to threaten our nation.

However, we are dismayed and frustrated that the House did not follow all of the 9/11 Commission recommendations. Specifically, they did not give the Homeland Security Committee sole jurisdiction over all homeland security issues, including cyber-security, transportation, first responders and even terrorist financing. Instead, these issues remain under the auspices of other committees. Therefore, there is no comprehensive committee with authorization and appropriate powers, as recommended by the 9/11 Commission.

We are concerned that the lack of a centralized authority will continue to dilute accountability and continue to preserve a system that led to the September 11th attacks. We believe that this is unacceptable (to the American people), and it is a shameful way to honor the 3,000 who perished that fateful day.

We call on Congress to honor the wise recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and on the House to allow the Homeland Security Committee, under the mindful watch of its Chairman Christopher Cox, to do its job to the best of its ability. The spider-web of oversight (with 88 committees including 412 Congressmen and 100 Senators claiming some sort of jurisdiction over homeland security) is a pathway to disaster.

Families of September 11 will remain vigilant in the coming weeks and months to monitor hearings and next steps of all committees that are responsible for our nation’s safety.

House Vote Makes Homeland Security Panel Permanent, GovExec.com, Jan. 5, 2005

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