At long last, the Senate approved the port security bill this afternoon, by a unanimous 98-0 vote, as noted in this Reuters story. The bill will now need to be reconciled with the House’s version of the legislation, but this should be a quick and feasible process, given the fact that both pieces of legislation were bipartisan in nature and similar in their key provisions.
For those who care about the nation’s port and cargo security, today is a good day, one that will finally provide strategic oversight and guidance from Congress on these issues. And for those who believe that we need to address our nation’s homeland security challenges in a truly bipartisan manner, as I do, this is a very good day. This final legislation is a model for how Congress should act on all matters pertaining to homeland security, with politics stopping at the water’s edge and legislation based on sober assessments of threat, vulnerability, feasibility, and resources. Those Senators who supported this legislation prior to Dubai Ports World brought this issue to the spotlight – notably Senators Collins, Murray, Coleman and Lieberman – can be proud today of their leadership on this issue in the Senate.