Lawmakers send 9/11 bill to Bush’s desk

The House pushed through sweeping legislation Friday implementing many unfulfilled recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, sending the bill to President Bush's desk for his signature.

The Senate voted 85-8 late Thursday to approve the conference agreement on the bill (H.R. 1). The House vote Friday was 371-40.

"This comprehensive, bipartisan legislation will do many things to make our nation stronger, our cities and towns more secure and our families safer," said Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., a key architect of the bill.

Notably, the bill would require the Homeland Security Department to ensure, within five years, that all U.S.-bound ship cargo is scanned at foreign ports. The department could give deadline extensions to ports that need more time to comply.

Industry made a last-minute push Friday against the 9/11 bill. In a letter to all House members, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it "strongly opposes" provisions dealing with cargo scanning and private sector preparedness standards.

"If enacted, the 100-percent scanning provisions of the legislation would have a crippling effect on global trade, without significantly improving security," the letter said. "The Chamber also objects to the creation of private sector preparedness standards that would impose costs and burdens on the business community without measurably improving preparedness."

At 900 pages long, the bill -- dubbed H.R. 1 to reflect the priority House Democrats have given it -- covers everything from distributing grants to local emergency response agencies to international relations with Pakistan. But Republicans point out that the bill fails to implement at least one key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission: consolidating congressional oversight of homeland security affairs.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.