House Passes Congresswoman Lesko’s Bipartisan Maritime Security Bill, Headed to Senate

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Washington, DC, December 9, 2019 | comments

Today, the House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Debbie Lesko’s bipartisan bill, H.R. 4402, the Inland Waters Security Review Act, to increase security of inland waters in the United States. Congresswoman Lesko (AZ-08), top Republican of the Transportation and Maritime Security Subcommittee, released the following statement.

“Maritime security is a critical component of our Nation’s homeland security,” said Congresswoman Lesko (R-AZ). “Inland waterways, such as the Colorado River in Arizona, are important factors that must be considered as we conduct a thorough review of our homeland security. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to quickly pass this legislation to protect our inland waters and better secure our Nation.”

“Maritime security may not be what we're thinking about when we're enjoying our Great Lakes and inland waters here in Michigan — but it's critical to our state's security and our homeland security," said Rep. Slotkin (D-MI). “Ensuring that the Department of Homeland Security conducts a thorough security and threat assessment of our nation’s lakes, rivers and streams should be par for the course — and I'm proud to see this bipartisan bill pass to make that a requirement.”

Background:

This bill requires the DHS Secretary to conduct an inland waters threat analysis that includes:

  • current and potential criminal threats posed by individuals and groups,
  • security challenges at U.S. inland waters ports,
  • security mitigation efforts on inland waters,
  • vulnerabilities related to cooperation between State, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement, or international agreements,
  • and metrics and performance measures used by DHS to evaluate inland waters security. 

The analysis must consider technology needs and challenges, personnel needs and challenges, the roles and the need of State, local, Tribal, territorial, and international law enforcement, as well as the challenges posed by geography with respect to inland waters security.

The analysis will be reported in unclassified form, but some portions may be classified.

The Committees that would receive the report include, House Homeland, House Transportation and Infrastructure, Senate Homeland, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

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