Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement today on the conference agreement to H.R. 1, implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission:  
    “Almost six years after the terrorist attacks and three years after the 9/11 Commission’s report, I am pleased that Congress has at last reached agreement on legislation to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.  Action on this legislation to protect our country from future terrorist attacks is long overdue and I look forward to the President signing the measure into law.

    “As a conferee, I worked on a number of the bill’s provisions that strengthen U.S nonproliferation and threat reduction programs, which the 9/11 Commission emphasized must be a top priority given the threat that weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation and terrorism pose to the American people.
    “I am particularly pleased that the bill strengthens the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which is an important tool for interdicting illicit transfers of WMD.  The bill will help to expand PSI-cooperation with our allies and strategic partners; ensure that the PSI has the necessary budget, resources and structures; and enable Congress to exercise greater oversight of PSI activities.

    “I also strongly support the bill provision that establishes a high-level coordinator for preventing WMD proliferation and terrorism.  This new coordinator will ensure that the U.S. strategy, budget, programs and initiatives, and interagency action are comprehensive and well-coordinated, and will provide leadership that has been lacking and is critical to the effectiveness of U.S. nonproliferation and threat reduction efforts. 

   “Finally, I am pleased that the bill repeals limits on Cooperative Threat Reduction Program assistance, which have impeded the effectiveness of this Department of Defense program in past years, authorizes funding to strengthen and expand Cooperative Threat Reduction and Department of Energy nonproliferation programs, and includes other measures to counter the threat that WMD proliferation and terrorism poses to the American people.

    “Our government has no greater responsibility than protecting the American people.  By implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, we are taking real steps to close security gaps and provide a secure future for all Americans.”