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House OKs 2-Month Extension for Panel Investigating 9/11 Attacks

March 04, 2004|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The House passed legislation Wednesday giving the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks more time to finish its work.

Under the bill, approved by voice vote, the commission would receive 60 more days to issue its final report, or until July 26. The bipartisan panel also would have until Aug. 26 to wind down its business, a period when it declassifies information for public release.

The Senate passed the same version of the bill Friday. It now goes to President Bush for his signature; Bush last month said he supported a two-month extension.

Congress established the Sept. 11 panel -- officially known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States -- to study the nation's preparedness before the attacks and its response afterward, and to make recommendations to guard against similar disasters.

The commission was to finish its work May 27, but members last month asked for a two-month extension, citing repeated delays because of disputes with the Bush administration over access to witnesses and documents.

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