Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

September 22, 2006

Peter King disavows industry’s chemical security language

Filed under: Congress and HLS,Infrastructure Protection — by Christian Beckner on September 22, 2006

In a story in CQ (subscription only), Rep. Peter King, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, makes its very clear that he does not support the language that the chemical industry is pushing to include in the FY 2007 DHS appropriations bill:

King said Thursday he does not endorse compromise language that has been circulating for more than a week under his name, and chastised those who claim he did.

“Anyone saying I agreed to this is either a liar, ignorant, or both,” King told CQ Homeland Security. “My experience is that people who spread these lies are usually people who’ve lost big time.”

The language, to be added to the Homeland Security spending bill (HR 5441), would allow the Department of Homeland Security to create interim regulations for chemical security sites.

King said he never backed the language, which was being characterized with his moniker, along with Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The office of House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., has taken over the negotiations for King, sources said.

“I never signed onto any compromise,” King said Thursday. “The industry was trying to get out front and box people in.”

This last sentence by King says it all about the chemical industry’s narrow-minded viewpoint on this issue. I hope that members of Congress such as Peter King, Susan Collins, and Judd Gregg continue to fight against the inclusion of such weak language in the appropriations bill.

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