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Homeland Security Leader Stops in Buffalo

By Joyce Kryszak

June 29, 2004 – Homeland Security promises to be a hot campaign issue not only for presidential candidates this November. Monday the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security was in Buffalo.

U.S. Representative Christopher Cox of California was on the re-election stump in Buffalo for fellow Republican representative Tom Reynolds. The two politicians took time out from campaigning to answer questions on Homeland Security. But it soon became apparent that November and Homeland Security are tightly linked.

Reynolds acknowledged that the election will be a close one for President Bush. Reynolds says there were a few surprises in the Nine Eleven Commission report. But he placed the blame on past leadership.

"As we have an opportunity to learn from 9-11, it will possibly give us an chance to begin to make necessary investments that are needed," said Reynolds,

However, Congressman Cox says billions of dollars allocated for the effort have still not gotten through to first responders. And he offered few other assurances. Cox said, despite efforts here and abroad, Americans remain vulnerable. Citing the March bomb blasts in Madrid, Cox acknowledged the upcoming elections bring one more added concern.

"We are simply dealing with terrorist enemies that can strike where ever they please. But they are not ten feet tall and they can not strike every where. They will try to terrorize the country by trying to create that impression. It is our job to prevent them before it happens, and if we can't do that, to be entirely ready for them this time," said Cox.

Cox did hail the transfer of power in Iraq as a milestone in the war on terror. And he downplayed any negative effect the war there might have on November's elections.