Nadler Calls for Increased Funding for Port Security

Jun 8, 2004

Washington, DC -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) made the following statement at a press conference today on the need to improve port security:I strongly support the bill introduced by Congresswoman Millender-McDonald, HR 3712, which calls for an investment of $4 billion dollars over five years to address the infrastructure needs of our ports.

We are at war. It is time to act like it. We can never rest when it comes to protecting the American people.

Despite all of our efforts, terrorist networks still exist and more terrorists are being recruited around the world on a daily basis. We all know that an attack can come at any time and we must do all we can to stop it. That means investing more money in port security.

We all know the terrorists exploited our vulnerabilities on September 11, and they were able to defeat multiple levels of security with devastating effects. We need to have a stronger system in place at our ports. That means investing in infrastructure and technology. That means focusing resources where the risk is highest, namely in ports near our main population centers in New York, Los Angeles, and other port cities.

Let’s face it, our ports are not as secure as they should be. At this point, they remain a potential weak spot. It is our duty as Members of Congress, to address the areas where we believe we are vulnerable. We must harden easy targets so that they are less likely to be successfully attacked. We have the means to do it with proper funding, but so far this Administration and many of my colleagues in Congress have been unwilling to fund vital programs that would increase our safety at home.

It doesn’t make sense to me. Why would you spend more than $100 billion in a year to topple a regime in Iraq, and not spend $4 billion to protect our own ports here in the U.S.?

But this Administration is not willing to spend even $4 billion, instead they have proposed spending $46 million, (that is million dollars) for port security funding in FY 2005. That would be laughable if this was not such a deadly serious issue. Instead, it is a shame. And it is up to us to do something about it, and that is why I am proud to be here today to support substantially increasing funding for port security.

Thank you.