Wednesday, June 17, 2009

HR 2868 Markup Hearing Scheduled

The House Homeland Security Committee last night announced that it would be holding a Full Committee Markup Hearing for HR 2868, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act (CFATA) of 2009, on Thursday, June 18th at 10:00 am EDT. A web cast of the hearing will be available live. If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind that Chairman Thompson intends to get this bill through the House this summer, this move will quickly disabuse them of that doubt. To be fair there were a number of hearings held last year on the topic and it has been a routine matter for the House to look at since October of 2006. What will be interesting to see tomorrow is how far Congressman Thompson will go in allowing the Republicans to modify the bill to get a bipartisan consensus backing the bill before it goes to the Energy and Commerce Committee for hearings. Chairman Thompson remarked in yesterday’s hearing that he hopes to get at least one Republican co-sponsor for the bill. It appears that the main points of contention for the Republicans will be IST and the Civil Suit language that appeared in the bill for the first time this year. I would be surprised if Thompson were to allow those provisions to be removed from the bill, but some sort of compromise language may be possible to get bipartisan support.

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