Pombo Shuts Down 9/11 Memorial
On March 17, 2005, House Resolution 175 was referred to the House Resources Committee. Unanimously supported by the entire New York Congressional delegation, along with Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, H.R. 175 is a bi-partisan bill that would recognize the importance of establishing a national memorial at the site of the World Trade Center to honor the victims of September 11.
On April 11, 2005, Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York wrote to Richard Pombo, the chairman of the House Resources Committee, requesting that the Committee act quickly to release the bill from committee. On May 13, 2005, Congressman Nick Rahall of West Virginia reiterated that request. There have been many additional requests for action on the bill since then; yet to this day, H.R. 175 languishes in the House Resources Committee.
Now, just five days before the five-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and nearly a year and a half after it was submitted, the bill is still being bottled up by Richard Pombo. Today a group of Congressional members will deliver a letter to Pombo formally requesting that he release the bill from committee. To date, Reps. Crowley, Higgens, Israel, King, Lowey, Maloney, McDermott, Nadler, Rothman, Sanders, Serrano, and Wexler have all signed the letter, which reads as follows:
The Honorable Richard PomboHeh. Apparently, these members of Congress don’t understand how the House Resources Committee functions under the leadership of Richard Pombo. If those who want to honor the World Trade Center victims actually expect this bill to ever see the light of day, they’re going to have to get with the program and do what the Indian tribes, the oil companies, and the mining and timber interests do:
Committee on Resources
1239 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Pombo:
We are writing to respectfully request that H. Res. 175, the World Trade Center Memorial resolution, see quick action in your committee, so the legislation can be scheduled on the House suspension calendar at the earliest possible date. H. Res. 175 recognizes the importance of establishing a national memorial at the World Trade Center site to commemorate and mourn the events of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. It was introduced with the co-sponsorship of the entire New York delegation, and it has support of the Governor of the State and the Mayor of the City of New York.
H. Res 175 was referred to the full Committee on Resources on March 17, 2005 and to the Subcommittee on National Parks on March 23, 2005. On April 11, 2005, Congressman Jerrold Nadler wrote to you requesting quick consideration of the bill by the Resources Committee, as did Ranking Member Rahall on May 13, 2005. Despite repeated additional requests, the bill has still not been acted on by either the subcommittee or the full committee.
By supporting a national memorial commemorating the attacks on the World Trade Center, we can help establish a place where all Americans can remember and learn from the tragedy. As you know, a design has been selected for the memorial, and the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation has been established to begin the fundraising and construction processes. Former Presidents Clinton, Bush, Carter, and Ford all serve as Members of the Honorary Board. H. Res. 175 will give the Foundation assistance with their efforts raising funds, awareness, and support for the construction and completion of the memorial.
As the 5th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, it is clear that the time for consideration of the World Trade Center Memorial Resolution has arrived. Again, I respectfully request that H. Res. 175 receive quick committee action so that the full House can take up consideration of the bill in short order.