U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today voted for the conference report for H.R. 1, a bill to implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations. The original version of the bill, passed on January 9, 2007, was the first legislation to pass under the new House Democratic leadership. The final conference report for H.R. 1 passed the House today by a vote of 371 to 41.
“This bill increases security at our sea ports and airports. It improves information sharing between federal and local governments, in addition to foreign countries, to protect our homeland. It establishes a body to make sure civil liberties are protected. I was pleased to help pass this legislation today,” Smith said.
“When the House passed the original version of this bill, I was concerned about the 100 percent air cargo and seaborne container screening requirements. I was pleased to see that the conference report includes provisions to delay these requirements should it be judged that adequate technology is not available or that the inspections regime adversely affects the flow of trade,” Smith added.
If enacted, the conference report for H.R. 1 includes provisions that would:
- Require that all U.S.-bound cargo containers are screened before being loaded onto a U.S.-bound ship no later than July 1, 2012. Allows the implementation to be delayed by two years at a time if scanning technology is not available or would significantly impact trade.
- Require that 50 percent of cargo carried on passenger aircraft be screened within 18 months of enactment and 100 percent of cargo screen within 3 years.
- Provide $250 million per year for enhanced screening of checked baggage at airports.
- Provide $5.3 billion over 5 years to help high-risk urban areas prevent and respond to terrorism.
- Provide $1.6 billion over five years for states to improve interoperability emergency communication.
- Create a travel authorization system to collect information about individuals who seek to enter the U.S. under the visa-waiver program.
- Establish the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board as an independent agency.
The bill now goes to the President to be signed into law.