Unveil Homeland Security Priorities
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following
statement today at a news conference held to discuss the homeland
security priorities of House Democrats. Pelosi was joined by Congressman
Jim Turner, Ranking Member on the Select Committee on Homeland Security,
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, and other House Democrats.
are a one page summary and a detailed fact sheet about the initiative.
Democrats have been working to develop a set of priorities to make
our country safer and more secure.
week, we will mark the second anniversary of the September 11th
terrorist attacks. It will be a time for remembering the thousands
who lost their lives or who were injured on that day, as well as
our service men and women who have died or have been wounded in
the campaign against terrorism following the attacks. In remembering
those who have sacrificed so much, we must be ever mindful of their
families, for whom the pain of loss continues.
and appropriate as our ceremonies of remembrance will be, this should
also be a time for an honest evaluation of how well we have done
in the past two years in reducing our exposure to another terrorist
event. The attacks of 2001 made clear the gaps that existed in our
homeland security, and post-attack reviews have revealed even more
of Congress, our first responsibility is set forth in the Preamble
to the Constitution -- to provide for the common defense. When the
Constitution was written, providing for the common defense meant
homeland security. We weren't fighting wars around the world, we
were defending the homeland. As we protect and defend our country,
we must protect and defend the Constitution -- that is the oath
of office that we take.
the safety of the American people at home must be undertaken as
aggressively as pursuing terrorists in far-off lands.
we present an assessment of areas in which security improvements
are critical. Our priorities focus on making America safer and more
include enhancing protection of our borders; securing sensitive
nuclear and chemical plants; improving the coordination of our intelligence;
and improving the resources of our first responders. Reducing these
risks to our security must be a national priority, and we need a
commitment to accomplishing it that reflects the enormity of the
tragedy we suffered on September 11."