Yesterday Senators Collins (R, ME) and Lieberman (I, CT) introduced S 505, the See Something, Say Something Act of 2011. The language in this bill is identical to that found in HR 495 that was introduced last month by Rep. King, making it a ‘companion bill’. Introduction of companion bills allows committee work to proceed in both houses of Congress at the same time, increasing the likelihood of passage and potentially shortening the time needed for consideration.
Early consideration in Committee in both the Senate and House is probable because the bills were introduced the Chairs (effectively co-chairs in the Senate) of each Committee. A further indication of the relative importance of this bill is the fact that a link to a copy of the committee draft was placed on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. This makes a copy of the legislation publicly available before the bill is officially available on the Government Printing Office Site.
BTW: HR 963 introduced yesterday by Rep. Smith (R, TX) apparently addresses the same issue but a copy of the bill is not yet publicly available.