Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Homeland Security Committee Amends and Adopts HR 4251 – SMART Port Security Act

At today’s hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee HR 4251, the Securing Maritime Activities through Risk-based Targeting for (SMART) Port Security Act, was amended and adopted by a broadly bipartisan voice vote.

The amendment in the nature of a substitute that I had mentioned in an earlier blog was agreed to in a voice vote. Two additional amendments were adopted by unanimous consent, functionally the same as a unanimous vote.

The first amendment, offered by Rep. Richardson (D,CA), would amend 46 USC §70107(b)(2) to allow Port Security Grants to be used for the replacement of security equipment. This is similar to HR 5802 which she had recently introduced.

The second amendment, offered by Rep. Cravaack (R,MN), would require a report by the DHS Secretary on “unnecessary redundancies or overlaps in Federal transportation security credentialing programs” (§208). The report would also include suggestions for correcting those overlaps and redundancies.

If/when this bill makes it to a floor vote, it will almost certainly pass without the necessity of a rule. Of course it could also get added to another bill, the Coast Guard authorization bill that I discussed earlier, for instance.

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