BASS AMENDMENT PASSES AS PART OF THE SAFE PORT ACT

From the Office of Congressman Charles Bass

For ImmediateRelease

May 4, 2006

Contact: Tad Furtado

Office: 202-225-5206

Washington , D.C. - U.S. Representative Charles Bass today applauded House passage of his amendment to the Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act. The amendment would allow states and local governments to be reimbursed for performing federal anti-terrorism duties at our ports under the  new port security grant program.

"My amendment would increase the flexibility for the homeland security responsibilities that the state, local,and federal government are performing," said Bass. "It's the federal government's obligation to secure our homeland and the high-priority facilities, so our state and local governments should be reimbursed with federal funding when they assist in responding to the unique threats and obligations presented to them."

According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, New Hampshire has been devoting a substantial amount of non-reimbursed state resources to coastal and port security duties. Among other duties, the Department's Division of Safety Services Marine Patrol Bureau provides enhanced patrols of the shoreline and critical infrastructure such as Hampton Beach , the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, and certain bridges over the Piscataqua River . They also perform security duties involving ships entering the Port of Portsmouth and connections to area fuel depots since September 11, 2001 .

The base bill would improve port security both at home and abroad, by expanding capabilities, maximizing available resources, and pushing our borders outward.

"The SAFE Port Act is a solid start to strengthen security at our national ports against any future terrorist attacks," concluded Bass.

The bill passed the House with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 421 to 2.