WASHINGTON, July 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) issued the following statement this morning urging Democrats to keep in place a provision in the 9/11 recommendations bill ensuring passengers and commuters who report suspicious activity can do so without risk of reprisal.
"National security in a post-9/11 world requires the constant vigilance of the American people, and the courage to stand up and report activity they deem to be unusual or suspicious. That Democrats in the House and Senate would seek to strip a provision protecting Americans from being sued for discharging these important duties is deeply troubling -- and is something Republicans in the House will not abide.
"The agents of terror and extremism that plot our destruction this very afternoon will not rest until irreparable harm is brought to innocent Americans en masse. Because of that, we must not rest either. But since the federal government will not and cannot be everywhere at once, we should be applauding -- and not suing -- those in the public willing to meet the challenges of securing our homeland head-on, and not averting their eyes in the hope that others will report the danger in front of them."
As reported in this morning's Washington Times, Democrats charged with determining the final composition of the 9/11 recommendations bill in conference committee are actively seeking to strike the " John Doe " protections on precarious procedural grounds. The provisions, first introduced by Reps. Steve King , R-N.Y. and Steve Pearce , R-N.M., were first introduced in response to widespread outrage in March stemming from the "Flying Imams" incident aboard a U.S. Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix -- where six Islamic leaders were removed after being observed acting suspiciously. The passengers who reported that activity were eventually rewarded with a lawsuit -- an outcome the King/Pearce provisions would protect against.
SOURCE House Republican Whip Roy Blunt