November 19, 2007

CRAPO: FUNDING NEEDED TO PREVENT IED ATTACKS

Backs bill increasing plans to stop U.S. improvised bomb attacks

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is co-sponsoring a bill that is designed to keep those within the U.S. safe from IEDs (improvised explosive devices). The legislation, S. 2292, would stop attacks by utilizing new technologies discovered in fighting IED attacks overseas. It would enhance the ability and funding of the Office of Bombing Prevention within the Department of Homeland Security. That office is responsible for coordinating federal efforts to detect and prevent the threat of an explosive attack in the U.S. It would also use the technology and expertise developed through experiences in Iraq to train local and state officials to be able to identify and prevent bomb attacks.

"We face an increased threat of the use of IED-style bombings within our shores, and this legislation secures the funding to thwart such attacks," Crapo said. "This legislation will ensure that the important progress made in countering the threat of IEDs in Iraq is also implemented at home."

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs has approved the legislation originally sponsored by Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-Maine). It authorizes $10 million in spending for Fiscal 2008 and $25 million for each of the following two years. Planning efforts would be coordinated with the Department of Justice.

The legislation would require the President to develop a national strategy to prevent and prepare for terrorist attacks in the United States using explosive devices. With the threat of such attacks increasing in the United States, this legislation would enhance and strengthen the capabilities for the Office for Bombing Prevention to close this critical gap in our homeland security efforts.

"This legislation promotes the lessons learned from our military efforts in Iraq for use by local and state leaders," Crapo added. "It ensures that we consolidate government resources to put the available technology and intelligence to work to stop IED attacks within our country and will further enable the collaboration between the government and private sectors to stop these attacks."

The measure now goes before the full Senate.