Transcript of Today's Pelosi, Bennie Thompson's Press Conference

WASHINGTON, July 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi , Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson , and 9/11 Commissioners Lee Hamilton and Tim Roemer , held a news conference in the Capitol this afternoon prior to a...


WASHINGTON, July 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi , Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson , and 9/11 Commissioners Lee Hamilton and Tim Roemer , held a news conference in the Capitol this afternoon prior to a joint House-Senate conference meeting to finalize legislation implementing the independent 9/11 Commission recommendations. Below is a transcript of their remarks:

On 9/11 Conference Report

Mr. Thompson . "All of these items as well as the rest of the conference report will address and satisfy the 9/11 Commission's recommendations and then some. This major accomplishment today marks real progress for security in Congress, relying on more than a gut feeling to secure our communities and our future."

On Contribution of 9/11 Families:

Speaker Pelosi. "We have always said that any discussion of 9/11 in any way, shape or form would be made on sacred ground, with reverence to those who were lost. We promised you answers, and we promised you a safer America. Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Roemer got you some of the answers. Hopefully, this legislation will fulfill the rest of the promise."

July 19, 2007

12:45 p.m.

Mr. Thompson . Let me also be first to thank those who lost loved ones on September 11th, 2001 , for being here today.

I especially would like to thank Ms. Beverly Eckert and Ms. Mary Fetchet , who lost a husband and a child respectively on 9/11. Your courage, perseverance and strength are both inspirational. I strongly believe that you and the other 9/11 families are a major reasons why we are here today. You kept pushing for progress on homeland security so we could protect all our families.

Among my friends, Commissioners Lee Hamilton and Tim Roemer are here, too. You kept Congress in full focus on the 9/11 Commission Report's recommendations, and I thank you for that. America thanks you for that, also.

In less than 15 minutes, the House and Senate will break historic ground by going to conference on H.R. 1 and S. 4. The process leading us today to this event has been both bipartisan and bicameral. When the 9/11 terrorists attacked us, they really don't ask whether we are black, white, red, yellow. They just want to hurt Americans.

Today, we take a step closer to fulfilling the 9/11 Commission's recommendations and giving America the real security and protection that we all deserve.

Let me tell you a little about what we do. For the first time, we make risk the driving factor on how Homeland Security grants will be distributed. We tackle the interoperability crisis, giving our communities needed resources to communicate with one other. This is a major step toward ensuring that our first responders have the ability to talk to one another in a time of crisis.

We strengthen intelligence and information sharing efforts across the government. We strengthen the Human Smuggling Trafficking Center to increase border security and break up smuggling rings. We provide long overdue independence in the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, ensuring that we protect privacy and civil liberties on equal footing to physical security.

We protect our nation's critical infrastructure by reinforcing the National Asset Database. No longer will popcorn factories and abandoned dirt bike trails be considered paramount to national security.

We add additional personnel, equipment, and funding to aviation and surface transportation security. We require 100 percent screening for cargo on passenger planes and containers coming into our seaports.

All of these items as well as the rest of the conference report will address and satisfy the 9/11 Commission's recommendations and then some. This major accomplishment today marks real progress for security in Congress, relying on more than a gut feeling to secure our communities and our future.

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