Two U.S. House members introduce port security plan

| Wednesday, March 15, 2006

In the wake of growing concern about the security of the nation’s ports, two U.S. Representatives have introduced a plan designed to beef up port security.

Reps. Dan Lungren, R-CA, and Jane Harman, D-CA, introduced the Security and Accountability For Every Port, or SAFE Port Act, on Tuesday, March 14.

According to a written statement issued by Lungren, the $4 billion plan calls for minimum standards for cargo container screening and would require that the names of port employees be matched against terrorist watch lists.

The bill would also require that all containers be scanned for radiation.

The plan also calls for the creation of a tier system that would give countries and companies that provide the greatest level of security cooperation more benefits than those that don’t.

Lungren, who is chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection and Cybersecurity, said in his statement that the timing of the bill is critical.

“I am hopeful that the recent heightened attention paid to the issue of national port security will inject a sense of urgency and spur the adoption of real-time legislation that ensures the safety of the American people and the security of our global supply chain,” he said.

A hearing on the bill is scheduled for Thursday, March 16.

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