July 12, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER
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After 9/11, Safety Became Focus for Bob Ney

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo

“Steny Hoyer to this day I admire his 100 percent integrity, cooperation. He put the institution and the safety of Members and staff first. There were decisions immediately that had to be made that really were frankly sensitive that could have caused a huge stir. Steny Hoyer never played one single minute of politics on any of those decisions. He made decisions based on what was best for the institution. He was amazing. There were Members who wanted to shut stuff down, Members who wanted to keep stuff open. The tours weren’t up and running. I could go on and on with a list of 200 things [that Members proposed]. ... They were delicate decisions and Steny Hoyer just really rose to the occasion. ... He was just an institutionalist and cared about their safety.”

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“I remember one thing about this. Speaker [Dennis] Hastert [R-Ill.] said to me, if not once, 10 times, ‘I want security and I want safety, but I want this to be the people’s House, I want it to be open.’ That was his mandate. ... I think overall it’s a very balanced approached [to security] that we have done. ... It’s a moment we hope never happens again. I do think it’s better security for the employees and the Members of Congress and the press — you’ve got to go into that building, too. I think it’s a better system and it’s not foolproof, but I think it’s much better than it was the day before 9/11.”

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