Today, Washington state Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced  his support for a bipartisan effort to bring the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible. Smith, together with over 100 Members of Congress, has cosponsored a bill that presents the commission’s recommendations in legislative form.

“The Ninth District has one of the largest ports in Washington state as well as two active military bases. I will always work to protect these vital interests that are important not only to our state, but to the entire country.  The legislation that was introduced in Congress today is critical for ensuring that Washington state, and the United States as a whole, are able to prevent future terrorist attacks and will help to build a consolidated effort against terrorists,” said Smith. “With this legislation, we will be taking the first steps needed in implementing some of the lessons learned from that horrific day in September of 2001.”

The 9/11 Commission has recommended sweeping changes in how our intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security operate.  The Democratic bill would follow the blueprint set by the 9-11 Commission, and:

·         Create a strong National Intelligence Director
·         Improve Congressional oversight
·         Ensure an integrated terrorist watch list
·         Strengthen the FBI's ability to collect and analyze domestic intelligence
·         Create an integrated strategic plan for aviation and transportation security
·         Improve airline passenger and baggage screening
·         Improve coordination between FAA and military authorities
·         Provide for the increased assignment of radio spectrum for safety purposes
·         Protect our civil liberties
·         Make the Select Committee on Homeland Security permanent
 
“We must strengthen our intelligence capabilities and refocus our efforts on defeating international terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda,” Smith said. “A bipartisan effort in Congress to pass this legislation is critical to strengthening America’s security.”