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...


Because although this bill is couched in very technical, legalistic language, what it really is is common-sense proposals to protect the American people. I must confess to you I've got a little frustration that it has taken this long, but I probably have an appreciation of the process more than many do, and I am very grateful for the legislative skill that has brought these provisions forward. It would be enacting no-brainer provisions, common-sense provisions that will protect, as the Speaker has said and as Chairman Thompson has said, the American people.

So God speed in that committee as you go to work on it here, and we will get out of your way so you can really get the job done.

Mr. Roemer . Well, it is always so difficult to follow one of the true heroes of mine in Indiana as a fellow Hoosier, in Congress, on the 9/11 Commission, in public life, and here I am again trying to follow in Lee's audacious footsteps. He has, as the Speaker said, provided such great leadership for our country in his post public service as well as public service.

I have to say, too, that after great frustration in the 109th Congress which did not do anything on the 9/11 reforms, the Speaker of the House has made this the number one priority, the number one action, and it has shown bipartisan support in getting through the House of Representatives with Democrats and Republicans joining together to finally do something six years after the 9/11 attacks where we lost 3,000 people.

And Chairman Thompson , your leadership and your direction and your savvy of this process has really led to this conference today, and we are very hopeful that it will conclude today or tomorrow or soon and we will see these recommendations put into law so that the American people are safer.

I have to say that as I look out and see the 9/11 family members, here are true American heroes to me. Here are the people that have given up so much of their lives, so much of their time, so much of their focus on their families that are remaining to try to make sure that the American people are safer: Beverly Eckert , who lost her husband, Sean; Carie Lemack, who lost her mother, Judy; Carol Ashley , who lost her daughter, Janice; Mary Fetchet, who lost her son, Brad.

This act is really in their honor. It will really, in their honor, try to prevent other children and parents from being attacked by the jihadist forces.

So, in your honor, we are hopeful that, in a bipartisan way, with the Senate and the House and Democrats and Republicans and the President supporting and signing this bill, that we're going to have action to try to make sure that we have a better strategy for the hearts and minds, to secure nuclear weapons, to know fully who is coming across our border and what is entering into our ports and our country today.

Let me just finally say and conclude that, six years ago, this country was attacked and we lost 3,000 people. Three years ago, this report was issued to try to protect our country with a new global strategy and a reorganization of our government.

Three days ago, we heard that Al Qaeda has enhanced its ability to attack the homeland, improved their communications around the world, and expanded their influence across the Middle East and Europe . They have moved their safe haven from Afghanistan to Pakistan . They have a launching pad in Great Britain to our homeland, and they are using the Internet to recruit and train future terrorists. Iraq serves as a breeding and recruiting and training ground for new jihadists, and the current terrorism policies are not working well enough.

We have new answers. A conference will meet in five minutes, we hope, to conclude these recommendations and pass them in a bipartisan way into law. It is time we do it. And I hope that before the President goes to the ranch, before the Congress goes on vacation, before we have a recess in August, that these recommendations will go to the President of the United States , the President will not veto these, he will support them and sign them finally into law to make the American people safer.

Thank you for your honor. Thank you for your work, your tireless efforts, 9/11 families. We hope it is right around the corner.

Madam Speaker, thank you so much for your leadership and your priority and your tenacity to push this forward in the last six months.

SOURCE Office of the Office of the Speaker of the House