Thursday, July 16, 2020

S 4096 Introduced – CFATS Extension

Last month Sen Johnson (R,WI) introduced S 4096, a bill that would extend the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program through July 27th, 2023.

Two days after this bill was introduced Johnson introduce a second CFATS extension bill, S 4148. That bill would also extend the CFATS program through July 27th, 2023. S 4148 was passed by the Senate the same day it was introduced.

The bill the Senate passed was the same as S 4096 except that it added a second paragraph:

“(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date that is 1 day after the date of enactment of this Act.”

The House passed their own clean extension of the CFATS program (HR 6160) back in March. It would extend the CFATS program authorization through October 18th, 2021. Technically, the wording of HR 6160 was made obsolete by the passage of HR 748 as that bill replaced the old “5 years and 3 months” language with an actual date; “July 23, 2020”.

Both the House and the Senate will be back in Washington next week in time to address the pending expiration of the CFATS program authorization on July 23rd. While the Democrats in the House really want a chance to make some changes to the CFATS program, I suspect that they will go along with the three year extension as they hope to be in a stronger position to send legislation to the President in the 117th Congress.

Interestingly, after this bill was introduced, Johnson introduced a third CFATS extension bill, S 4197. The language of that bill has not yet been printed, but it did not have any Democratic Senators as cosponsors.

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