Issue One, joined by former members and leading organizations, calls on Congress to address vulnerabilities and ensure continuity of all three branches

Issue One today sent a letter to congressional leadership calling on Congress to address the urgent and dangerous vulnerabilities to the continuity of all three branches of government.

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks twenty years ago, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Brookings Institution came together to form a Continuity of Government Commission, which found that none of the three branches had adequate plans to ensure continuous and constitutionally valid operation in a time of national crisis. Nearly two decades later, the commission’s recommendations have gone unaddressed. 

As the letter states: “Large-scale events could quickly alter elections or render the House unable to achieve a quorum. In a closely contested Congress — as we currently have in both chambers — a single assassin could alter the makeup and balance of power of the body. As unpleasant as it may be to imagine, these vulnerabilities are invitations to future attacks.”

Joined by nearly fifty former members of Congress and organizations — including the Bipartisan Policy Center, Demand Progress, U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, and Unite America — the letter goes on to say: 

“Few things could be more important than ensuring that the U.S. government can and will continue to function through natural disasters, domestic threats, and international attacks. Certainly, there are many pressing matters facing Congress, and partisan divides can make it difficult to address challenging issues. Following the 20th anniversary of 9/11, it is time for this issue to transcend partisanship and take precedence.

“Congress should take action and build on the work of the Continuity of Government Commission by forming a new body — either a bipartisan, bicameral joint committee or a commission of distinguished former members — that will grapple with modern threats and issue new recommendations designed to ensure continuity of all three branches.”

The letter was addressed to Senate Majority and Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY), as well as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Read the full letter here.

The full list of signatories of this letter are as follows:

Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-NY

Rep. Jason Altmire, D-PN

Rep. Brian Baird, D-WA

Rep. Michael Barnes, D-MD

Rep. Dan Boren, D-OK

Rep. Michael Capuano, D-MA

Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-MO

Rep. Bob Carr, D-MI

Rep. John Joseph Cavanaugh, D-NE

Rep. Jim Chapman, D-TX

Rep. Donna Christensen, D-VI

Rep. Eva Clayton, D-NC

Rep. Mike Conaway, R-TX

Rep. Sam Coppersmith, D-AZ

Rep. Chris Cox, R-CA

Rep. Charles Djou, R-HI

Rep. William Enyart, D-IL

Rep. Dave Evans, D-IN

Rep. John Faso, R-NY

Rep. Vic Fazio, D-CA

Rep. Bill Flores, R-TX

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-VA

Rep. Gene Green, D-TX

Sen. Gary Hart, D-CO

Rep. Melissa Hart, R-PA

Rep. Baron Hill, D-IN

Rep. Joseph Hoeffel, D-PA

Rep. Bob Inglis, R-SC

Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-RI

Rep. Mike Kopetski, D-OR

Rep. Jim Leach, R-LA

Rep. Donald Manzullo, R-IL

Rep. Matthew F. McHugh, D-NY

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-CA

Rep. Tom McMillen, D-MD

Rep. Connie Morella, R-MD

Rep. Sue Myrick, R-NC

Rep. Lewis F. Payne, D-VA

Rep. Bill Sarpalius, D-TX

Rep. Karen Shepherd, D-UT

Rep. David Skaggs, D-CO

Rep. Lawrence Smith, D-FL

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-MI

Rep. Robin Tallon, D-SC

Rep. John Tanner, D-TN

Rep. Jim Guy Tucker, D-AR

Rep. Zach Wamp, R-TN

Bipartisan Policy Center

Demand Progress

Issue One

Kevin M. Esterling, University of California, Riverside*

Lorelei Kelly, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University*

Rick Shapiro, Strategic Assets Consulting*

U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress

Unite America

 

* Affiliations listed for identification purposes only