Thursday, January 6, 2011

Homeland Security Laws Introduced

One of the web sites I check every morning (when Congress is in session) is the Daily Digest, so that I can see what Congress did the previous day. Among other things it provides a listing of the bill numbers for new legislation that was introduced. I was very disappointed this morning when that site still showed the 12-29-10 Daily Digest. It wasn’t until after lunch time that yesterday’s version was posted and I quickly saw the reason why, there were 172 bills introduced in the House. It takes a while to enter all of that information into the appropriate databases.

I have looked at the titles of all 172 bills and found four that may be of interest to the chemical security community. That ‘may be of interest’ is even more iffy than normal, I haven’t seen the actual bill yet as they haven’t gotten into the GPO computers yet. Fortunately, the Senate will not start introducing bills until January 25th so the GPO should have gotten caught up on the House serge by the time the Senate serge starts. BTW: I’ll certainly be glad to see the implementation of the new House rules that require electronic submission of all legislation.

Four Bills

I’ll list the basic information on the four bills of potential interest here and then discuss each in more detail (or erase it from my list if I don’t think it will actually be of interest) when the actual language of the bill becomes available.

● HR 22 – To amend title 49, United States Code, to enhance pipeline safety, to provide communities with access to improved information concerning the equipment and operations of pipeline facilities, and for other purposes.

● HR 30 – To require Surface Transportation Board consideration of the impacts of certain railroad transactions on local communities, and for other purposes.

● HR 76 – To authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a program to award grants to institutions of higher education for the establishment or expansion of cybersecurity professional development programs, and for other purposes.

● HR 174 – To enhance homeland security, including domestic preparedness and collective response to terrorism, by amending the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish the Cybersecurity Compliance Division and provide authorities to the Department of Homeland Security to enhance the security and resiliency of the Nation's cyber and physical infrastructure against terrorism and other cyber attacks, and for other purposes.
At first glance all four of these bills are similar to legislation that was introduced, but not acted upon in the 111th Congress. This is a typical move, especially in the first couple of weeks of the new Congress.

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