March 08, 2005

Homeland Security Appropriations Passes

Spending measure clears Senate

Washington, DC â?? The Senate approved $29.3 billion to fund the new Department of Homeland Security last night, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. â??The Senate version includes important increases in our investment for the Coast Guard, terrorism prevention, and border security above and beyond what were asked for by the administration,â?? said Crapo. â??This funding will enable the Department of Homeland Security to better safeguard our nation against attacks. The threat of terrorism is very real, and as recent history proves, we are not immune to it. We must provide those who protect our citizens with the resources necessary to support training, tools, and operations to fight this ongoing problem.â??The proposal passed by the Senate yesterday by a vote of 93-1, includes language to explore equipping commercial airliners to defend against shoulder-launched missiles. The bill also would require the development of an integrated public alert system in consultation with state, local, and other emergency preparedness officials. The House passed its version of the appropriations bill on June 24, and now the legislation will go to conference committee. The primary difference between the two bills is the $890 million for Project Bioshield not contained in the Senate version. The House included this funding in its version, which would support the Administrationâ??s program to combat biological weapons.# # #