Yesterday the economic security subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee marked up H.R. 5695, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, and passed it out of the subcommittee by a 16-2 vote. GovExec has an excellent summary of the mark up, noting how Democratic amendments on state preemption and IST’s failed by 10-8 votes. The article indicates that the Senate and House are essentially punting the state preemption issue over to the courts – not the best policy outcome, but acceptable if that’s what it takes to move the bill forward.
It appears that this bill is on a fast track now in the House, with the markup taking place only two weeks after the House HSC introduced the bill. Hopefully the House’s brisk action on this legislation will force certain Senators to end their petty squabbling and get this legislation passed before everyone goes home at the end of September.