Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Names Turner as Lead Democrat on Homeland Security Committee

January 28, 2003


Washington, D.C.-- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today named Congressman Jim Turner of Texas to serve as Ranking Democrat of the Select Committee on Homeland Security. This new committee is authorized to be the primary committee in the House of Representatives to lead our nation’s efforts to strengthen homeland security.

“Jim Turner has been a strong leader in the Congress on homeland security,” said Pelosi. “Given his knowledge of national security issues, the respect he has from colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and his steadfast commitment to winning the war on terrorism, I know he will do an outstanding job as the Ranking Democrat on the new Homeland Security Committee.”

The Homeland Security Committee is designed to coordinate the efforts of Congress and the implementation of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

“The most important challenge facing our nation today is to protect and defend America from those who plot and plan attacks against our families and communities,” said Turner. “On September 11th, terrorists declared war against America. I am dedicated to the task of meeting that challenge.”

The Select Committee’s oversight of the new Department of Homeland Security will be focused on getting the new Department working effectively and quickly. The Committee has exclusive legislative jurisdiction over all matters relating to the Homeland Security Act and will play a central role in fighting the war on terrorism.

Turner brings extensive experience to his new role. A Vietnam-era Army veteran, he currently serves as a member of the House Armed Services Committee and served as the Ranking Democrat of the House Armed Services Panel on Terrorism, which is charged with oversight of the armed services role in the war on terrorism. He also worked to ensure more rapid deployment of information technology in homeland defense as Ranking Member of the Technology and Procurement subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee.

“Our immediate challenge is to secure our borders, strengthen security around sensitive infrastructure and give our firefighters, police and health care workers the tools they need to meet the threats of a new age,” said Turner. “This is a war that we did not start. But working together, this is a war that we shall win.”


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