Saturday, March 18, 2006

Port security: Now that we see a problem, let's throw money at it

Peported here:
Citing a critical lack of security against terrorism at the nation's ports, two members of Congress on Friday outlined a $4 billion plan to conduct background checks on port workers and inspect all container cargo coming into the nation, among other measures.
Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Sacramento, a Long Beach native, toured the Port of Long Beach with a delegation of local, state and federal officials to study current security measures and push his SAFE Port Act, which earmarks $800 million annually over five years to increase security...

Lungren, who represented Long Beach's 34th District for 10 years before becoming California Attorney General under former Gov. Pete Wilson, said the recent controversy over the failed takeover of several East Coast ports by a Dubai-owned company increases the chances of the SAFE Act being passed.

"Perhaps the only good thing to come out of that controversy is a refocus on the issue of port security," Lungren said. "It re-injects a sense of urgency to this task."

The bill does not address fishing vessels, pleasure boats and other small watercraft, Sanchez said.

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