WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Rep. Nancy Pelosi called Friday for an urgent congressional vote to implement U.S. security upgrades.
Pelosi, the leader of the minority Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, pledged in a statement that if the Democrats regained a ruling majority in the House, they would impose an "up-down" vote within the first week of the next Congress to push for implementation of the security reforms recommended by the "9/11" Commission.
Pelosi, D-Calif., was seeking to counter-attack against an effective Republican strategy that is presenting the GOP to the American public as far more determined to fight terrorism than the Democrats. National polls show the GOP gaining ground on the issue after trailing on other issues.
"Under Democratic leadership, we would hold an up or down vote in the first week on the 9/11 Commission recommendations, because we can't afford to wait another minute," Pelosi said.
"Our first responsibility as elected officials is the security of the American people. The American people deserve better from their leaders and you should ask the question: are we safer today than we were five years ago?" she said.
"Our first responsibility as elected officials is the security of the American people. ... We must work together for a new direction that that provides real security for the American people," Pelosi said. "... Congress must pass legislation to implement all of the 9/11 Commission recommendations," she said.
Pelosi accused the Republican-led Congress and the Bush administration of leaving "America at risk" by "shortchanging port security ... under-funding those in charge of our intelligence and emergency response (and) failing to adequately integrate government wide communications -- connecting the dots."