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On May 11th, 2018 a request was made by one the many 9/11 for truth platforms ae911truth.org which is endorsed by nearly 3000 architects and engineers to the US congress to reopen a new 9/11 investigation. The same request is bound to be repeated.

This is called the Bobby McIlvaine Act (video here) which acts in the name of many families who lost at least a relative during the 9/11 attacks. According to his platform over 100 representatives of congress have been reached in the past few weeks.

I don't want to debate whether 9/11 was an false flag operation or a conspiracy theory or a fantasy. The question is: What would it take to the US Congress to listen to these architects and start a 9/11 investigation? Would it be enough with just one congress person wanting to re-open it?

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    If you don't want the question to be mired in 9/11 trutherism discussions, why not just omit the details and ask generically about abstract investigation into an abstract topic – user4012 May 18 '18 at 14:25
  • Comments deleted. The purpose of comments is to improve the question. This is not an appropriate forum to discuss 9/11 conspiracy theories. – Philipp May 22 '18 at 13:05
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What would be needed is simply a majority in one of the chambers:

Select or special committees are generally established by a separate resolution of the chamber, sometimes to conduct investigations and studies.2

I assume that a simple majority generally suffices for passing a resolution.

Creating congressional committees emphatically does not depend on presidential approval.1

The committee funding is a bit more involved because the biennial appropriations bill can be vetoed by the president; but the bill is an "omnibus bill" for general funding of all committees, and the president has no "line item veto", i.e. can only reject it whole. The veto could as usual be overridden by a two-thirds majority.

The bill also includes a reserve for unforeseen expenses. A new committee could thus immediately be funded at the sole discretion of the Senate or House.

The House committee funding procedure is described here:

Operating budgets for all standing and select committees of the House continued or created at the beginning of a new Congress (except for the Committee on Appropriations) are authorized biennially pursuant to an omnibus committee funding resolution (known as the “primary expense resolution”), and funding is included in the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill.


1 Or Nixon could have prevented the Watergate committee.

2 Valerie Heitshusen: Committee Types and Roles. May 2, 2017 (Congressional Research Service 7-5700, www.crs.gov, 98-241)

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Would it be enough with just one congress person wanting to re-open it?

No.

AFAIK Setting up that sort of investigative commission requires all of

  • The agreement of a majority of congress and
  • The allocation of a budget (say $15m to the commission, probably similar amounts to each of NIST³ and FBI⁴) which the vice chair of the 9/11 commission says¹ requires
  • The agreement of the president.

The 9/11 Commission had 10 congressional members but had a full-time paid staff of about 80 people² and made use of very substantial amounts of work by government agencies such as the NIST and FBI.


References:

  1. How Can Congress Set up an Independent Commission to Investigate Russia? NBC 2017.

    Getting an appropriations bill through a Republican-controlled Congress is one thing, but getting the White House to sign off is another, Hamilton said. "Trump could veto it," he said, adding that without the funding, an independent investigation would never take off.

  2. A Look Back at the 9/11 Commission. CBS 2006.

    The commission had nearly 80 full-time employees on staff.

  3. FAQs - NIST WTC Investigation . NIST 2011.

    The agency received $16 million for the investigation in September 2002 from the federal government's fiscal year 2002 supplemental appropriation.

  4. 911 Investigation. FBI.

  5. September 11th Commission, Fast Facts. CNN 2017.

    Budget for the Commission totaled $15 million.

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    This answer is probably wrong: A congressional commission to investigate anything does not need "agreement" of the president (agreement in which form?). See senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/…. Among other things congressional investigations may concern other branches of the government, notably the President him- or herself. "Congress may [read: by its own authority] investigate anything related to the development of public policy." And since one of the main functions of congress is to determine the budget that only depends on the political will. – Peter - Reinstate Monica May 18 '18 at 18:26
  • @Peter: I based that on the NBC article which says "Getting an appropriations bill through a Republican-controlled Congress is one thing, but getting the White House to sign off is another, Hamilton said. "Trump could veto it," he said, adding that without the funding, an independent investigation would never take off." I've reordered the bullet points in the answer to make this clearer. – RedGrittyBrick May 19 '18 at 9:56
  • Of course, a veto can be overridden. – phoog May 20 '18 at 23:48
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That there was some real concrete evidence for a start. Nothing like this has been forthcoming, instead endless suspicions and conspiracy theory mongering.

9/11 has been an event of such importance that if there was anything to be found then one would expect something to have been found by now. Instead, what's been found are failures in taking serious intelligence into account.

For example, in Ken Levingstones autobiography he mentions talking to a Russian intelligence operative who was concerned about the possible blow back from Western interference in Middle East. At the time he thought little if it, and in fact asked himself how would it look like if it came to light he was talking to Russian intelligence operative!

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    I do not think this answers the question - the question is not whether any conspiration theory is true or not. – Bregalad May 20 '18 at 16:44
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    @Bregalad the question seems to be asking "what would be needed" procedurally, but it's not entirely clear about that. This answer discusses "what would be needed" in terms of a political environment that would create political pressure for a new investigation. – phoog May 21 '18 at 14:02
  • @Bregalad: The question doesn't appear to be asking about procedural niceties but 'what would it take for the US Congress to start listening'. My answer, answers exactly that question: Important, incontrovertible and concrete evidence. – Mozibur Ullah May 21 '18 at 21:37

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