by Max Brantley
We're in receipt of a news release from John Burnett, said to be an Atkins lawyer and Democratic candidate for Congress in 2008. Yes, the race has begun. You probably need to start early in the Third District.
But his news release (full text on the jump) makes a solid point: Why did Republican Rep. John Boozman not join the five dozen other Republicans who joined in supporting Democratic anti-terrorism legislation (for plane and ship inpsections) recommended by the 9/11 Commission?
JOHN BURNETT NEWS RELEASE
This week the United States Congress passed with ease, anti-terrorism legislation patterned from recommendations in the 9/11 Report. The new bill includes commitments for inspection of all cargo carried aboard passenger aircraft and on ships bound for the United States.
“Sixty-eight Republicans recognized that the screening and security of cargo on our passenger aircraft and the millions of containers coming through our ports everyday was more important than economics or partisan politics. “It came as no surprise to me that Congressman John Boozman voted against the anti-terrorism legislation” said John Burnett, declared candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination for the 3rd Congressional District.
In a written statement, the Bush administration listed several objections and said it could not support the measure as drafted but stopped short of a veto threat.
Democrats have pledged to make fiscal responsibility a priority in the new Congress, but they advanced the bill — their first of the year — without even a bare-bones accounting of the estimated cost. The funding will require follow-up legislation.
“The screening of cargo coming into our ports and on our passenger aircraft is not an economic issue; it is a security issue, and it is the solemn duty of Congress to do everything within its power to protect its people and our county. To think that we have to throw away our toothpaste and take off your shoes to board a commercial airplane knowing that the cargo underneath us has not been screened makes me wonder why any Congressman would vote against such common sense security legislation, and I’d like to know why John Boozman voted against it” said Burnett.
Burnett went on to say, “sighting fiscal responsibility from any Republican Congressman or an Administration that sports an $800 billion dollar budget deficit, consistently voted to protect big business, big pharma and huge tax cuts for the top 1% of Americans is simply laughable.”
”It has been three long years since the 9/11 Commission recommended that all cargo on passenger airplanes and cargo coming into our ports be screened and I applaud Arkansas Congressman Marion Berry, Mike Ross and Vic Snyder for standing up and recognizing that this legislation will make America safer”.
John Burnett is a practicing Attorney from Atkins, Arkansas.