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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 4, 2007

Schumer Begins New Role As Third Ranking Democrat In The Senate, Immediately Calls On Congress To Finally Implement Long Delayed 9-11 Commission Recommendations

Schumer Today Officially Becomes Vice-Chair Of Conference, Overseeing Strategy and Policy To Keep And Build Support for Democratic Values

Implementation of 9-11 Recommendations Part of First Ten Democratic Leadership Bills Introduced Today

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, who officially became the Vice-Chair of the Democratic Conference, touted legislation today implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission to fight the War on Terror. The Making America More Secure by Implementing the 9/11 Commission’s Recommendations Act (S. 4) is part of the Democratic leadership rollout of their first ten bills and would focus on three main areas: protecting the homeland, winning the war on terror by fighting violent extremism more effectively, and combating weapons of mass destruction.

“This past November, the American people sent us an undeniable message: drop the partisanship fighting, and get something done,” Schumer said. “Today marks the first day of the new Congress and hopefully a new era of working together on issues that help middle class families. From strengthening our homeland security to making college more affordable, this is what we’re all here to do and must get done.”

In his first floor speech of the 110th Congress, Schumer discussed the priorities of the new Congress, including implementing the 9-11 recommendations, making prescription drugs and college more affordable, and building a path to energy independence.

The Making America More Secure by Implementing the 9/11 Commission’s Recommendations Act, sets a priority for the Senate to take up and implement the Commission's recommendations including the following three main areas that are in need of urgent attention:

Protecting the Homeland. Enhance security at national borders, ports, airports and mass transit systems. Enhance screening of containers and cargo bound for the U.S. in ships or airplanes at the point of origin and safeguard America's nuclear and chemical plants, and food and water supplies. Improve situational awareness of terrorist travel and financing. Provide firefighters, emergency medical workers, police officers, and other workers on the front lines with the training, staffing, equipment, and cutting-edge technology they need. Enhance resources to provide first responder communications interoperability. Improve counterterrorism information sharing between federal, state, local and tribal governments.

Winning the War on Terror by Fighting Violent Extremism More Effectively. Craft a more effective foreign policy that renews the emphasis on winning the war on terrorism by fighting the ideology of terrorists. Eliminate terrorist breeding grounds by combating the economic, social, and political conditions that allow extremism to thrive; renew longstanding alliances that have advanced our national security objectives. Enhance intelligence and overall US government and allied capabilities to hunt Osama Bin Laden, destroy al Qaeda and its affiliated terrorist networks, and finish the job of establishing freedom, security and the opportunity for prosperity in Afghanistan. Improve public diplomacy and programs for enhancing the authority of moderates and undermining violent extremists in the Middle East.

Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction. Secure loose nuclear materials that terrorists could use to build nuclear weapons or "dirty bombs." Enhance domestic detection capabilities against weapons of mass destruction and terrorist efforts to procure, infiltrate or use these weapons.

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