Lieberman, McCain Offer September 11th Commission as Amendment to Homeland Security

WASHINGTON – Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., Thursday offered their legislation to create a blue-ribbon commission to investigate the events leading up to September 11 as an amendment to the homeland security bill, now pending on the Senate floor. Lieberman and McCain introduced their legislation in December 2001. Below is a summary of the amendment offered Thursday.


By Senator Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and Senator John McCain, R-Ariz.

The amendment – based on S.1867, introduced December 20, 2001- would establish a 10-member, bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States which would examine the facts and causes relating to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The Commission will report on its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures that can be taken to prevent future acts of terrorism. S.1867 was co-sponsored by Senators Torricelli, Grassley, Dorgan, Cleland, Miller, Bayh, Harkin, Corzine, Boxer, Feingold, Kerry, Clinton, Dodd, Carnahan, Lincoln, Edwards, Durbin, Hollings, Schumer, Nelson of Nebraska, Specter. The Commission’s Composition: The 10 members of the Commission will be appointed as follows: 3 members will be appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate 3 members will be appointed by the Speaker of the House 2 members will be appointed by the Minority Leader in the Senate 2 members will be appointed by the Minority Leader in the House The Commission Chair and co-Chair will be appointed by commission members Additionally, Commission membership will meet the following qualifications: Members should be prominent U.S. citizens with national recognition and backgrounds in government service, law enforcement, the armed services, legal practice, public administration, intelligence gathering, commerce, and foreign affairs No current government employees may be appointed Timing No more than six months after the Commission’s initial meeting, it will submit an initial report to the President and Congress. A second report, containing findings, conclusions, and recommendations, must be submitted to the President and Congress no later than one year after the submission of the initial report. Function and Scope The primary functions of the Commission are:

  • to conduct an investigation into the facts and circumstances relating to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The investigation may address the roles of intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, commercial aviation, the flow of assets to terrorist organizations, diplomacy, immigration, non-immigrant visas, border control, and other relevant areas of the public and private sectors.
  • identify, review and evaluate the lessons learned from the terrorist attacks regarding the structure, coordination, and management policies and procedures of federal, state, and local governments and the private sector, in detecting, preventing, and responding to terrorist attacks
  • submit to the President and Congress reports containing findings, conclusions, and recommendations, including proposing organization, coordination, planning, management arrangements, procedures, rules and regulations To achieve these functions, the Commission will be able to:
  • hold hearings
  • require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and
  • the production of books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents
  • secure information, including information needing security clearances, services, as well as funds, facilities, staff, and other support services from Federal agencies.
  • carry out its functions using $3 million of authorized funds as appropriated by Congress.
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