Friday, July 9, 2010

CFATS in the Senate

Once again we are hearing reports about the impending consideration of CFATS reauthorization in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Ryan Loughin reported yesterday in his blog over on that it looks like S 2996 “will be marked up or voted on later this month”. He doesn’t quote a specific source for this, but I would assume that it comes from information that originated at the recent Chemical Sector Security Summit. S 2996 is the bill introduced with bipartisan support by Sen. Collins (R, ME), the ranking member of the Committee. The bill would extend the current CFATS program authorization for an additional five years without significant change. We can see a similar, but much briefer, report on a Tweet® from ICISNewsAmerica. The link on that Tweet takes you to an article on, but you have to have a subscription to that news service to read the article and, alas, I don’t. So I don’t know the source for that report either. There is nothing on the Committee’s web site yet about such a markup, but that doesn’t mean much. They are out of town until next week so the web site is not as actively maintained as it is when the Senate is in session. I will continue keep an eye on their web page. As I have mentioned on a number of occasions, I don’t think that S 2996 can pass in its current form. A five year extension without addressing issues of significant concern to House members (water facility coverage, MTSA facility coverage, labor protections, and of course inherently safe technology) won’t even be considered in the House. I’m sure that there are compromises that could be made that could get a bill passed in both houses; I just don’t think that there is enough political will in this election year for either side to make that compromise happen. The most likely thing to happen this year is for the DHS budget bill to include another one year extension of the CFATS authorization, essentially punting the decision until next year. We’ll continue to watch and see. Things are never certain in politics.

1 comment:

Jerry laws said...

Love your blog, and our own blog links to it from

A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed Larry Sloan, president and CEO of SOCMA, and Bill Allmond, its government affairs VP, for a report in our monthly CFATS News enewsletter. Bill told me Sen. Collins had told SOCMA representatives during their recent Capitol Hill fly-in that the bill will be marked up in the Senate committee this month.

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