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Clinton seeks $1 billion to fight terrorism


September 9, 1996
Web posted at: 1:00 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton accepted recommendations from a White House commission on aviation safety Monday and called on Congress to provide $1 billion dollars to fund new anti-terrorism measures before it adjourns in October. (20 sec./430K AIFF or WAV sound)icon

"Terrorists don't wait, and neither should we," the president said during a ceremony in the Oval Office. The report was prepared by the Commission on Aviation Safety and Security chaired by Vice President Al Gore. (11 sec./249K AIFF or WAV sound)icon

Gore said the report's recommendations represented "a combination of approaches -- some high-tech, some low-tech, even some no-tech."

Clinton said that his administration is committed to battling terrorism "on every front."

"The vice president's plan goes to the heart of this strategy, so I want everyone to understand that whenever this plan says the commission recommends, you can understand it to meant that the president will."

In addition to requesting the $1 billion from Congress -- which he said should also be used to enhance security at public sites in the United States and abroad -- the president: (22 sec./480K AIFF or WAV sound)icon

  • Ordered criminal background checks on airport workers with access to secure areas.
  • Ordered that each piece of luggage loaded onto an aircraft be matched to a passenger.
  • Promised to sign an executive order making the National Transportation Safety Board the lead agency in dealing with the families of crash victims.
  • Announced that bomb-sniffing dogs from the U.S. military would join security forces at key airports.

Clinton requested the report following the July 17 explosion of TWA Flight 800 shortly after take-off from New York's Kennedy International Airport. Officials suspect the jet was brought down by a terrorist act, but that has not been confirmed.

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