September 14, 2006

Crapo: Port Security Bill Is Progress

Washington, DC â?? On a vote of 98 to 0, legislation overwhelmingly passed by the U.S. Senate today to upgrade port security is a reflection of the Senateâ??s ongoing commitment to improve security conditions for all Americans, while protecting the needs of our trade-dependant economy, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Crapo, a member of the Senate trade and export committees, says Senators are working on the real security and economic needs of our ports in reasoned trade and travel-conscious ways.â??There is much debate over what the provisions to improve port security will look like, and this legislation seeks to make the necessary security and commercial improvements at U.S. ports that homeland security experts have outlined,â?? Crapo said. â??Toward this end, Idaho has a big role to play. I have great hopes that Idaho State Universityâ??s Idaho Accelerator Center and the ongoing research there will play an important part in our port security future.â??Crapo noted that the measure would require radiation detectors to be used on cargo entering the U.S., increase security procedures for port employees, establish new security grants for ports to upgrade infrastructure, and develop a comprehensive approach to improving the security of the trade flows through our nationâ??s facilities. He also said that effort could one day include the fruits of research conducted in Idaho.â??ISU has people working full-time on federal research that includes homeland security and port security studies on devices that could one day help us to see inside shipping containers like those sent to our ports. For this and for many reasons, the debate about port security is healthy for our nation and healthy for Idaho.â??The bill, H.R. 4954, the Port Security Act, must now be reconciled with the House-passed version before it can be presented to the President for his signature.