September 15,2006

Grassley on Senate Passage of the Port Security Bill


To: Reporters and Editors

Re: Port security bill

Da: Friday, Sept. 15, 2006
Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, made the following comment on the port security bill approved by the Senate yesterday.

“I’m glad to see this legislation pass the Senate. For the past several months, I’ve worked with my colleagues, Senator Stevens and Senator Inouye on the Commerce committee, and Senator Collins, Senator Coleman, and Senator Lieberman on the Homeland Security committee, in close coordination with the ranking member on the Finance Committee, Senator Baucus. That’s as it should be. The committees of jurisdiction have come together and produced a bill that significantly advances both the trade security and economic security interests of our nation.

“That balance is an important part of this bill. The legislation represents a thoughtful re- evaluation of how best to meet the nation’s security interests at U.S. seaports. We’ve taken a look at what’s been done since 9/11. This legislation builds upon that. Terrorists have proven that they’ll change their ways to exploit perceived weaknesses in our defenses. We need to stay ahead of them. This legislation empowers our personnel in the Department of Homeland Security and United States Customs and Border Protection to do that.

“At the same time, this legislation includes provisions to strengthen the economic security of our nation. It’s important to remember that in addition to killing innocent Americans, the 9/11 attacks were intended to wreak economic havoc and injury upon our nation. This legislation includes provisions that realign resources to ensure better efficiency in the administration of customs laws within the United States Customs and Border Protection. It authorizes the International Trade Data System, a forward-looking program to better utilize technology to increase efficiency and facilitate trade. And, it provides for added resources to better meet all of our economic and trade security interests that are overseen by the United States Customs and Border Protection. Now that the Senate has worked its will, I look forward to working out differences with the House so we can get the bill to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”