Washington - The president today signed the bill implementing 9/11 commission recommendations into law. The bill includes a provision to scan 100% of cargo in a few as five years, which was spurred by Sen. Robert Menendez's (D-NJ) successful cargo scanning amendment attached during the original Senate debate on the bill. The legislation also moves toward a more risk-based homeland security funding system, which stands to benefit first responders in New Jersey.
"For those of us who have been pushing hard for these security upgrades since the release of the Commission's report and even before, the importance of this legislation cannot be understated," said Menendez. "Cargo that enters our ports by the ton is widely known as an area of great vulnerability. We have worked hard to move to a system that pinpoints weapons of mass destructions bound for our country.
"With a more risked based funding system, high-density, high-threat states like ours will be better prepared. We learned recently that al Qaeda has been allowed to regroup along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which is another reason why these security improvements could not come soon enough."
Menendez was able to attach the only cargo scanning amendment to the earlier Senate version of the bill, an amendment that required the Secretary of Homeland Security to report on efforts to achieve 100% scanning.
Regarding homeland security funding, the bill lowers the minimum amount every state, including low-risk states, receives to from 0.75% of the total amount to 0.35%, thus freeing up more money to be distributed based on risk.
January 21, 2021