Senate Passes Menendez '100 Percent Scanning' Amendment, Includes In Final 9/11 Commission Bill
Measure mandates 'benchmarks' to realizing 100 percent cargo scanning
March 13, 2007
Washington - Prior to final passage of the landmark 9/11 Commission Bill, the U.S. Senate today voted unanimously to include in it the Menendez 100 Percent Scanning Amendment - a measure that requires Homeland Security officials to develop a plan with yearly benchmarks that leads to 100 percent scanning of cargo containers entering U.S. ports. The amendment, drafted and advocated by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), builds upon the framework of the SAFE Port Act, which currently requires the Department of Homeland Security to report key insights from pilot security programs currently underway at six ports.
Menendez hailed his amendment's inclusion in the final security bill as a crucial step toward further securing American ports, as well as U.S. infrastructure and the economy.
Menendez said, "By simply scanning five percent of cargo containers that are deemed 'high risk' and allowing the other 95 percent to enter U.S. ports unfettered, we are tempting fate and risking American lives in the most flagrant way. Eventually the terrorists will discern what criterion constitutes 'high risk' and will include their murderous cargo among the 95 percent of containers that are deemed 'low risk.' Scanning one hundred percent of cargo containers entering U.S. ports must be a top national security priority - and my amendment brings us one step closer toward reaching that goal in a framework that is consistent with the SAFE Port Act. Today was a critical victory for those of us who believe one hundred percent cargo scanning is the only way to truly protect our ports, our economy and the American people."
The Menendez 100 Percent Scanning Amendment would expand reporting requirements by calling on the Homeland Security Department to submit a plan for achieving 100 percent scanning of cargo before it reaches U.S. ports. The amendment adds to the reporting requirements already in place from the SAFE Port Act. The amendment ensures American officials continue to stay focused on improving cargo scanning policies at U.S. ports. It pushes the Department of Homeland Security to show Congress it is making a concerted effort to implement 100 percent scanning procedures.