Statement of John Podesta

Today's report by the 9/11 Commission offers America a once in a lifetime opportunity to put in place reforms and new systems that can better protect our people. Now we must engage in a serious debate about the Commission's recommendations – and move beyond the partisan politics that are already poisoning our national dialogue.

We have this constructive and informative report today largely because of the energy and determination of the families of the victims of September 11th. As Chairmen Kean and Hamilton have said, we owe it to all of them, and those who died on September 11th, to do everything we can to ensure that America is protected. This report offers us that opportunity.

It is unfortunate, therefore, that the Bush administration has rejected key proposals and tried to divert our attention and focus in the hopes of scoring political points. Congressional leaders, meanwhile, have promised no action on the recommendations until after the November elections.

Americans deserve that this report be taken seriously and acted on without delay and with bipartisan support.