Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Congressmen Denied Classified Information Before Voting

During the debate on the Implementing The 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act Of 2007 (H.R. 1):

Rep. John Mica [R-FL]: I thank the gentlelady for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to come to the floor during what I consider to be probably one of the most important issues that we will consider, not only in this 100 hours, but in this entire session of Congress, because this issue determines and will determine the very security, not just the security as far as a terrorist attack on this Nation, but even our economic security; and the actions that are taken here have great implications.

While I believe that my good friends on the other side of the aisle are very well intended in what they propose today, unfortunately I believe they are misguided in what they are doing.

I have a copy of the 9/11 Commission report. I chaired for some 6 years the Aviation Subcommittee. I inherited it by fate of the good Lord and circumstances here in Congress. I followed from the very beginning the creation of TSA and all of the actions that we have taken from day one in protecting this great Nation against a terrorist attack.

I have read the proposals that are brought forth here today. Unfortunately, these proposals can result in turning in the wrong direction at this time in our vulnerability against terrorist attack. Let me be very frank, and I offered before, and I am sorry that the other side did not accept it, unanimous consent requests that we resolve into a committee for 1 hour, 1 hour of a secret session to discuss the pending threats against this Nation and also the status of our security systems in place to deal with those threats, and I was denied it. As part of the record of this Congress, now, I was denied that opportunity.

There are 54 Members who were elected, new Members, Republican and Democrat, who have not had access to that classified information. They will vote in a few hours on turning the direction of the system that we have put in place and a system we are trying to make work to protect us against a terrorist attack, and we have been denied the opportunity for 1 hour in closed session, with no cameras, no public, but the classified reports.

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