需要额外的港口安全基金

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THE MARINE LOG FEATURES CALENDAR FOR 2003

THE MARINE LOG FEATURES CALENDAR FOR 2003

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图片 7图片 8Hollings
continued, “The Coast Guard, Customs, Transportation Security
Administration, local law enforcement, and port operators are doing
everything they can to ensure that our ports are secure, but they do not
have the resources necessary to create the kind of security system that
we must have in the long run. We can turn that around, but it requires
that we make a steadfast commitment to pay for these vital homeland
security functions My amendment does just that.”

“But,” he added, “given the high level of need, we encourage the
Administration and Congress to provide additional funding as soon as
possible.”

Sen. Hollings proposed that Congress dedicate $1 billion annually for
port security this year and next. The Hollings blueprint for this
funding directs $610 million to the Maritime Administration, $160
million to the Coast Guard and $230 million to the Border and
Transportation Security Directorate to meet a variety of security
requirements outlined in the Maritime Transportation Security Act.

The Transportation Security Administration’s $170 million of the $245
million in FY ’03 funds released June 12 follows a first round of $92.3
million in FY ’02 funding appropriated for U.S. port facilities security
last year. The $245 million announcement also included $75 million in
funding for port security projects in urban areas. An additional $125
million in FY ’02 funds that were appropriated for ports will be
obligated this summer. AAPA is urging this funding be made available
quickly to set important security projects in motion.

“To put this in context of the economy and tax cuts, one must realize
that any suggested ‘stimulative’ benefit of a tax cut would be null and
void in the face of an economy devastated by an inoperable port system,”
Hollings said. “Ninety-five percent of all America’s U.S. overseas
commerce flows through the seaport system. Last year, when U.S. ports on
the West Coast were temporarily closed because of labor strikes,
economists estimated that the closure of those ports cost our economy $2
billion a day. That impact pales in comparison to the economic
devastation that would result from a dirty bomb imported in a container
through the port of Charleston or Philadelphia, or a ship colliding with
an oil facility along the Houston Ship Channel. In fact, a recent ‘war
game’ analyzed by Booze Allen Hamilton concluded that the economy would
collapse within 20 days following an attack on a U.S. port. We can’t
play games with this funding. We’ve got to get it done.”