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    LB Congresswoman Millender-McDonald Adds Amendment To Funding Bill That Will Send Roughly 25% of Surface Transportation Security Funding To Transit Security

    (April 6, 2003) -- Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald (D., LB-Carson) has successfully attached an amendment to the recently passed Supplemental Budget bill that will allocate $8 million of the $30 million provided for surface transportation security for transit security purposes.

    We post a transcript below of the April 3 House proceedings when Congresswoman Millender-McDonald proposed her amendment...which was accepted by the Republican majority and made part of the bill that ultimately passed the House.


    Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

    The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

    The text of the amendment is as follows:

    Amendment offered by Ms. Millender-McDonald:

    Page 39, line 14, before the period insert ``, of which $8,000,000 shall be available for transit security''.

    Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Chairman, I respectfully offer this amendment that calls for $8 of the $30 million provided for surface transportation security included in the supplemental bill to be used for transit security. This germane amendment provides $8 million which will provide our transit agencies and transit work force the much needed resources to support our Nation's increased transit security needs. This $8 million in transit security funding will do three important things: first, require the Secretary of Homeland Security to determine the percentage of frontline transit employees who are in need of receiving training in emergency preparedness and response training.

    Secondly, to provide funding for training programs for frontline transit employees, ensuring that these employees who are the eyes and ears of transportation systems are prepared to respond to emergency situations.

    Thirdly, provide funding for ongoing vulnerability assessments which will continuously build on information collected, allowing for easier implementation of new technologies that will assist in averting terrorist attacks on all modes of public transportation. It will also provide for transit agencies to purchase security enhancement equipment. In addition, this funding will be used for the development and implementation of local and regional emergency preparedness plans that fully utilize localities' transportation resources.

    For year, governments around the world have recognized that public transportation is a major terrorist target. Until 9/11 the United States has been largely spared the kind of terrorist campaigns waged against public surface transportation. However, we cannot wait for another tragedy to happen to prompt us to address our vulnerabilities. We must act now.

    An October 2001 study released by the Mineta Institute, ``Protecting Public Surface Transportation Against Terrorism and Serious Crime,'' an executive overview cites that between 1920 and 2000 there have been approximately 900 terrorist attacks and other significant criminal incidents involving public surface transportation systems. However, all but 14 of these attacks occurred after 1970, the year that marks the beginning of modern terrorism.

    Attacks against transportation and transportation infrastructures accounted for 42 percent of all international terrorist attacks, according to the most recent statistics provided by the USDOT Office of Intelligence and Security of 1998.

    Mr. Chairman, we must provide resources to our transit work force and our transit agencies to help prepare them and ensure that they are able to protect the communities in which they serve.

    Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, will the gentlewoman yield?

    Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. I yield to the gentleman from Florida.

    Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Chairman, we have reviewed this amendment and find that it is constructive and we are prepared to accept it.

    Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. I thank the Chairman.

    The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Millender-McDonald).

    The amendment was agreed to.

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