Saturday, July 28, 2007

Menendez hails 9/11 bill's passage


July 27, 2007

Afshin Mohamadi (Menendez) 202-224-4744


Cargo security provisions spurred by Menendez amendment and move to more risk-based homeland security funding included

– Late last night, the U.S. Senate passed legislation implementing the remaining 9/11 Commission recommendations, thus sending it to the president’s desk. The bill includes a provision to scan 100% of cargo in a few as five years, which was spurred by Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) successful cargo scanning amendment attached during the original Senate debate on the bill. The legislation also moves toward a more risk-based homeland security funding system, which stands to benefit first responders in New Jersey .

“This bill fills some major gaps in our security that were exposed three years ago by the 9/11 Commission but went unaddressed by the previous Congress,” said Menendez. “ New Jersey has the busiest port on the east coast, and we are fully aware that the current level of cargo scanning creates a major weakness for terrorists to exploit. I am proud to have helped move our country toward a 100 percent scanning system.

“As the nation’s most densely populated state, New Jersey has been losing out on valuable security resources to states that are nowhere to be found on the terror target list. We learned last week that al Qaeda has regrouped along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which only heightens the need to protect our high-risk areas here at home.”

Menendez was able to attach the only cargo scanning amendment to the earlier Senate version of the bill, an amendment that required the Secretary of Homeland Security to report on efforts to achieve 100% scanning.

Regarding homeland security funding, the bill lowers the minimum amount every state, including low-risk states, receives to from 0.75% of the total amount to 0.35%, thus freeing up more money to be distributed based on risk.

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Afshin Mohamadi
Press Secretary
Senator Robert Menendez

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