Pearce Opposes Hasty, Incomplete Effort to Implement Additional 9/11 Commission Recommendations
U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce today voted against H.R. 1; the new congressional majority's effort to implement additional recommendations from the 9/11 commission. The 2nd District lawmaker cited this legislation's impractical, expensive provision requiring screening of all shipping containers bound for the United States as well as a measure interfering with current personnel practices in the Transportation Safety Administration as key reasons for his opposition, together with its hasty consideration by the House without sufficient opportunity for debate, amendment, or proper briefing of freshman members of Congress:
"I appreciate the majority's decision to make this issue a priority," Rep. Pearce said. "Yet, H.R. 1 contains the hallmarks of the hurried process through which it was considered, including exorbitant, ineffective proposals lacking basic common sense.
"For example, this legislation's proponents suggest that we can secure every container shipped to the United States before it leaves a foreign port - all for $30 apiece. Yet, for $86 we can't produce passports that are safe from copying or counterfeiting. And we can't even get the Chinese government to help us stop the flow of pirated CDs. How can we expect $30 seals' installed in foreign ports to protect containers across thousands of miles of ocean? This ill-considered proposal wastes money, puts us in greater danger, and places an enormous burden upon American taxpayers and businesses
"H.R. 1 also impedes the Transportation Safety Administration's ability to manage its own personnel, sacrificing our national security upon the altar of labor politics. Through the normal processes of hearings, committee consideration, and floor amendments, we could have fixed these major shortcomings. Regrettably, the majority short-circuited these important safeguards, while preventing new members of Congress from getting up to speed on the complex, classified details of homeland security before they voted.
"We should carefully build upon the work of recent years - not rush to pass costly measures we know won't work"
Immediately prior to voting against H.R. 1, Rep. Pearce voted in favor of an unsuccessful motion to refer H.R. 1 to the committee process. This Motion to Recommit also reaffirmed Congress' duty to protect America's national security instead of delegating that responsibility to United Nations bureaucrats.