During the campaign, top House Democrats promised to enact all the recommendations of the 9/11 Commmission that had not yet been enacted. Yesterday, on Day One of their vaunted ”First 100 Hours” push, they failed to deliver on that promise … just as I said they would, here.
You would never know that, though, from reading the New York Times.
Eric Lipton’s report begins with the gleeful proclamation that “Delivering on a major campaign promise, House Democrats used their new majority Tuesday to push through a bill that would write into law several remaining recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission.”
Of couse, the promise wasn’t to enact “several remaining recommendations.” It was to enact the several remaining recommendations — that is, all of them that were within Congress’s power to enact.
The reader does not learn, unless he is willing to wade through to the very end of Lipton’s dispatch (and take note of a fleeting remark between dashes), that the House bill not only failed to do that — it failed to do it with respect to the matter that is most within Congress’s power to enact: namely, Congress’s own internal organization.
Here’s the last paragraph of Lipton’s story (italics mine): “Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, who held a hearing Tuesday as the Senate prepared for its version of this bill, noted that one major recommendation — not in the House measure — was strengthening Congressional oversight of intelligence and counterterrorism efforts. ‘We found it a lot easier to reform the rest of the government than we did to reform ourselves post-9/11,’ Mr. Lieberman said. ‘That’s unfinished work.’”
So here’s your new national security agenda in the House: Potentially ruinous regulation of the American shipping industry with no meaningful increase in security (Lipton concedes that ”some Democrats have expressed concerns that the bill’s mandate on inspecting ship containers may be unreasonable”) … but when it comes to regulating themselves — a high priority for the 9/11 Commission – Speaker Pelosi’s House is AWOL.