Congress passes port security legislation
Congress has passed legislation that tightens security at U.S. ports, requiring radiation monitors at the 22 largest ports by the end of next year.
The measure proposes $3.4 billion over the next five years to buy the detectors and hire more Customs and Border Protection officers, Bloomberg News reports.
The House approved the measure 409-2. The Senate passed the measure on a voice vote last week, and it now goes to President Bush for his signature.
The compromise measure worked out by the House and Senate omits provisions in the Senate legislation that proposed spending $4.5 billion for mass transit and railroad security. House Republicans also succeeded in taking out a Senate provision that would have allowed the Transportation Security Administration to exceed its mandated limit of 45,000 passenger screeners.
The legislation requires the Bush administration to institute a program to scan all containers in three foreign ports using systems based on a pilot program in Hong Kong.
The measure requires the Department of Homeland Security to make a plan to ensure security throughout the shipping process and develop standards for shipping container storage.