Congressional Record: January 23, 2003 (Senate)
Page S1466

                         ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS


                        SEPTEMBER 11 COMMISSION

 Mr. CORZINE. Mr. President, this past November, after 
extensive discussions, the Congress authorized the establishment of a 
commission to investigate the event surrounding the September 11 
terrorist attacks. This commission should play a critically important 
role by allowing us to better understand the events surrounding this 
national tragedy and to better prepare against the threats of similar 
attacks in the future. The commission's work is also essential for the 
thousands of families who lost loved ones on September 11, and who want 
better information about what happened on that fateful day, and who 
want to ensure that all those responsible are held accountable. These 
families have suffered tremendous losses and they deserve our support.
  I am very concerned, however, that the commission may lack the 
resources need to do the job right. So far, in defense appropriations 
bill for Fiscal Year 2003, Congress has appropriated only $3 million 
for the commission. From all indications, this is grossly inadequate. 
And if we fail to supplement this with additional funding, we would not 
only be disgracing the memory of the victims of September 11, but we 
could be jeopardizing the future safety of all Americans.
  Mr. President, in recent days, my staff and I have discussed the 
operation of this important investigatory commission with several of 
the appointed commissioners, both Democrats and Republicans. They have 
explained that the $3 million appropriated so far appears woefully 
insufficient to meet the commission's anticipated needs this fiscal 
year. in fact, actual needs for FY2003 probably will exceed $6 
million--more than twice the amount approved by the Congress.
  Mr. President, the responsibilities of the September 11 commission 
are much broader than the other commissions and it is simply 
unreasonable to expect the commission to function effectively with only 
$3 million. After all, that's a $2 million less than the funding 
received by a 1996 commission to look into the issues surrounding 
legalized gambling.
  Think about that: $5 million to study gambling, $3 million to study 
the worst terrorist attack in the history of this country. That simply 
does not make sense.
  Mr. President, it is important to remember that this commission has 
responsibilities and requirements that go far beyond those of any other 
commission in U.S. history. There are unique and expensive logistical 
requirements, including the hiring of expert staff with high-level 
security clearances. The commission must secure real estate appropriate 
for top secret discussions, and provide high-level security of its 
employees and its information systems.
  In order to complete the work of this important commission thoroughly 
and on time, more resources will be needed during this fiscal year, and 
in the future.
  Mr. President, I am hopeful that if the Congress considers a 
supplemental appropriations bill later this year, that legislation will 
include needed additional resources for the commission.
  In fact, I had prepared an amendment to this bill to increase funding 
for the commission by $3 million. However, after a conversation with 
Governor Tom Kean, chair of the commission, I have decided not to 
introduce my amendment at this time. Rather, I will wait until a formal 
budget is drawn up by the commission.
  I want to assure my colleagues, however, that I will not stop 
fighting for increased funding for the commission until I am convinced 
that the September 11 commission has received the funding that it needs 
to investigate the worst attack on American soil in our history. This 
matter is simply too important to do anything less.