The AP reported last night on new challenges facing the port security bill, most notably a new 500-page amendment to the port security bill by Sen. Reid (S.Amdt.4936) that attempts to add a broad range of measures unrelated to port security to the bill, on issues such as Iraq and the implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations.
Reid’s amendment contains many provisions that in other circumstances I would wholeheartedly agree with. But this is not the right time for this amendment. As Sen. Collins noted in a floor speech several minutes, this port security legislation has been bipartisan from its inception, beginning with her original co-sponsorship of the GreenLane bill with Sen. Murray. We’re in an election season, and that creates certain partisan necessities for both political parties, but this is the wrong bill to muck up with such dreck. If this amendment ends up scuttling the bill (a likelihood that I don’t foresee, since I doubt that there are enough votes for cloture on this amendment), then that would be net loss for all Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike.
Update (9/13): The Reid amendment failed by a 41-57 vote.