Berry Reacts to 9/11 Findings but Warns Against Taking Funds from First Responders

DECEMBER 6, 2005 - Posted at 3:25 p.m. CST

WASHINTON - First District Congressman Marion Berry expressed serious concerns today after reviewing the 9-11 Commission's final report card on the nation's level of security.  The commission, which released its report yesterday, criticized the Bush administration and Congress for failing to implement critical improvements in our nation's defenses and issued a D, F, or an incomplete grade on nearly half of its 41 original recommendations.

"I can't count the number of times I have called on the President and the Republican leadership in Congress to do something to increase funding for our first responders, and strengthen border, port, and airline security," said Berry.  "At some point the President needs to stand up and accept leadership on this issue.  Congress has given him everything he has asked for to get this job done.  We simply cannot accept a failing grade when the President has the resources to keep this country safe."

The 10-member bipartisan 9-11 Commission spent a year studying the September 11 attacks and preparing a series of recommendations to improve the nation's security.  The report card measured the federal government's progress in enacting those original recommendations.

Berry is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security which oversees funding decisions for the Department of Homeland Security.