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House Votes to Implement 9/11 Commission Recommendations

Congressman Yarmuth Hails Measure as Vital to National Security

(Washington, DC)  Today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) voted to improve national security by implementing the unfulfilled recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.  The recommendations include improving homeland security, preventing terrorists from acquiring WMD, and developing strategies for preventing the spread of Islamic terrorism.

The House passed the bill this afternoon by a vote of 299 to 128.

"In the five years since 9/11, the President and Congress have spent too much time talking the talk, and not enough time securing our borders, halting proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and stopping the spread of terrorism around the world.  We've been here five days, and I am pleased that the new Congress is walking the walk," Yarmuth said of the Bill's passage.  "These measures will make us all safer."

The bill includes a number of long-overdue steps to substantially improve homeland security, including :
  • Creating a stand-alone grant program to provide first responders with the type of equipment that allows them to communicate with one another during emergencies;
  • Phasing in a requirement of 100% inspection of the cargo carried on passenger aircraft over the next three years (most of this cargo is still not inspected);
  • Quickly accelerating the installation of explosive detection systems for checked baggage at the nation's airports;
  • Improving explosive detection systems at passenger checkpoints at the nation's airports; and
  • Phasing in a requirement of 100% scanning of U.S.-bound shipping containers over the next five years.

The bill also includes provisions to better prevent terrorists from acquiring WMD, such as:
  • Strengthening the Cooperative Threat Reduction ("Nunn-Lugar") program that focuses on securing loose nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union;
  • Providing increased tools for the Proliferation Security Initiative, through which the U.S. and participating countries interdict WMD; and
  • Establishing a U.S. Coordinator for the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism at the White House, who would serve as a presidential advisor on proliferation issues.