House to Vote on New Security Measures TodayJanuary 9, 2007 - by Donny Shaw
The most controversial measure included in the bill is a plan to inspect all cargo that comes into the United States on commercial ships and flights. Currently only about 15% of cargo is inspected. Opponents of the measure worry that the inspections will be too costly and slow down the ports too much. Some airlines are worried that the new law could reverse an arrangement that made them $13 billion in 2005.
The bill would implement several other recommendations of the 9/11 commission. Airport screeners would be able to unionize for the first time. An office would be created to deal with cases where people have been mistakenly put on lists that require them to have extra screening when they fly. An independent, bipartisan civil liberties watchdog board would be created. An International Arab and Muslim Youth Opportunity Fund would be created and used to help out public education in Arab countries.
The bill is likely to have bipartisan support, but some Republicans are expressing displeasure with how quickly it is being put through the house.
There is no word yet on how much the whole thing is going to cost. Funding for these new programs will be dealt with in a separate spending bill.