Monday, July 14, 2008

Update HR 5577 07-11-08

The House Leadership has once again caved on their responsibility to see to it that important security legislation moves through the Congress. They provided the House Committee on Energy and Commerce another extension for the review of HR 5577. This extension runs until September 12th. This ensures that this bill will not make it to a floor vote during the current session.

Next year the current CFATS authorization runs out in October. With no prospect of that authorization being extended this year, there is every incentive for high-risk facilities to use every stalling tactic in the regulations to avoid spending any further money on security procedures or equipment. Why should they spend money when the regulation requiring that expenditure is slated to expire before they can be forced to spend the money? Why spend money on a dead end program when an entirely new program will be written next year that may require a completely different type of security program?

The sad thing is that Speaker Pelosi will be the first to complain about the administration’s foot dragging on chemical security if an attack does occur. The Speaker and Chairman Dingle need to have their feet held to the fire about their inability to move this legislation forward.

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