Impractical security bill unlikely to survive in US Senate

There are hopeful signs that a bill, which calls for intensified screening of aircargo on passenger aircraft heading toward the US, which already passed by theDemocratic-controlled Congress last month, is unlikely to survive in the Senate. The provisions were part of a House bill that was promoted as the first legislationto pass in Congress this […]


There are hopeful signs that a bill, which calls for intensified screening of aircargo on passenger aircraft heading toward the US, which already passed by theDemocratic-controlled Congress last month, is unlikely to survive in the Senate.

The provisions were part of a House bill that was promoted as the first legislationto pass in Congress this year with the approval meant to signal new leadership’spriorities in pushing through security recommendations of the commission thatinvestigated the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The House bill, which did not specify whether the Transportation SecurityAdministration (TSA) or airlines would inspect cargo, would require the cargoto get the same screening as luggage by October 2009.

However, according to the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in theHouse of Representatives, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, two key provisionsof the House bill are unlikely to make it through the Senate. "With the exceptionof ports and cargo screening," he said, "everything else should go through."

The Senate Aviation Subcommittee plans to propose its own aviation-security billthat is likely to be less far-reaching on cargo than the House bill. Subcommittee chairmanJay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., wants to give TSA flexibility in improving cargo securityand will "carefully weigh" how a new law affects airlines and the economy.