Thursday, April 27, 2006

Republican Dominated House Planel Rejects Container Inspection

By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A House of Representatives committee on Wednesday rejected a Democratic proposal to require overseas inspection of all U.S.-bound marine containers but approved a plan for more screening in American ports and possibly abroad.

The legislation from the Homeland Security Committee authorizes $7.4 billion to require the government to finish installing radiation screening equipment at major U.S. ports by the end of 2007. It also would let the United States, if it decides to beef up security checks abroad, deny entry to containers from countries that refuse to cooperate.

Democrats seized on the security issue after the Bush administration ran into a storm of controversy for its decision to approve a state-owned Dubai company's plan to manage six U.S. port terminals. The plan has since been aborted.

But Republicans counter that Democrats are making unworkable demands and bristle at insinuations that Republicans are the handmaidens of industries that oppose higher shipping costs.

GOI: Then why didn't they approve this important legistlation?

The cargo screening gap has prompted warnings from some U.S. lawmakers and security experts that sea cargo is still one of the nation's most serious security vulnerabilities more than four years after the September 11 attacks.

"We know from intelligence, their (terrorists') highest goal would be to bring a nuclear device to our shores," Rep. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, told the committee.

The Republican-led panel rejected, on a mostly party-line vote of 16-18, a Markey amendment to require overseas inspection of all U.S.-bound cargo and tamper-proof seals. It was strongly opposed by the shipping industry.

GOI: Hmmm but I guess Republicans are so strong on national security after all. So who's the REAL party living in a pre-9/11 world now? HMMM??? Democrats try to get something passed to help portect our ports and shores and the Republican'ts smack it down choosing big business over national security. Niiiice. Yeah Dem's run with this one big time for the mid-terms.

And you know where I found this article? Over-seas Reuters news agency. You'll never hear about this one in the "liberal main stream media."

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Kvatch said...

Shamelessly whoring myself here, but security begins at home, IMHO, and the ports are just one dimension of that.

BTW, thanks for blogrolling me.

james said...


You're welcome