September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Statement by the President; November 15, 2001

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 15, 2001

Statement by the President

I commend the House and Senate conferees for reaching an agreement that puts the federal government in charge of aviation security, making airline travel safer for the American people.

This agreement improves upon the Senate-passed legislation in several important ways, including putting responsibility for all modes of transportation security at the Department of Transportation, where it belongs. Today's agreement also gives the federal government the flexibility to ensure a safe transition to a new aviation security system and will ultimately offer local authorities an option to employ the highest quality workforce-public or private. In addition, the compromise will help ensure security by requiring that all screeners be U.S. citizens and by guaranteeing the screening of all checked bags.

Safety comes first. And when it comes to safety, we will set high standards and enforce them. I congratulate the conferees and look forward to signing this important legislation into law.

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