The Real Security Act of 2006:Fri Sep 8, 2006 00:20
Five years after September 11th, America is still not as safe as we could and should be. Democrats are determined to provide the tools we need to develop the tough and smart policies that provide the Real Security the American people deserve.
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The Real Security Act of 2006:
The Real Security Act of 2006: Refocus on Winning the War on Terror
Democrats are determined to wage the most effective war on terror. The Real Security Act lays out a comprehensive U.S. strategy to combat radical Islamic fundamentalism, win the battle of ideas over freedom and democracy, and win the war on international terrorism. In contrast to the Bush Administration's piecemeal approach, this legislation establishes four interlocking pillars necessary to wage an effective war on terrorism: (1) taking the fight to the terrorists; (2) empowering Middle Eastern moderates to win the battle for freedom and democracy; (3) enhancing the U.S. government's accountability and effectiveness to deal with this issue; and (4) reducing the possibility terrorists could acquire and use nuclear materials and other deadly materials as a weapon, the greatest single threat to U.S. national security.
Take the Fight to the Terrorists.
The Real Security Act contains three basic provisions that will allow the U.S. to take the fight to the terrorists in a more effective manner. First, this legislation substantially increases the number U.S. Special Forces over the next several years, greatly enhancing this nation's ability to track down and eliminate international terrorists in all corners of the globe. The bill also increases foreign language experts in the U.S. government, thereby ensuring that our troops and security personnel receive timely translations of critical conversations between terrorist organizations. Finally, the Real Security Act strengthens measures to combat terrorist financing, a critical aspect of the war on terror.
Empowering Middle Eastern Moderates to Win the Battle for Freedom and Democracy.
A long term complement to the offensive measures, the Real Security Act contains four key long-term initiatives that are designed to dry up the breeding grounds of terrorism. The bill authorizes additional funding for basic education programs to help nations provide a clear alternative to the madrassas that preach radical Islam; support to non-governmental organizations working to enhance democracy and development in the Muslim world; new public diplomacy programs to explain U.S. policies and counter anti-U.S. propaganda, and a long term strategy to deal with key states; including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.
Increase the U.S. Government's Accountability and Effectiveness to Counter the Terrorist Threat.
The U.S. government lacks the basic tools to determine if our efforts to combat terrorism are actually working. The Real Security Act deals with these problems by establishing a mechanism to assess the effectiveness of U.S. polices and programs on the war on terror. The act also creates tough criminal penalties for anyone caught defrauding or profiteering from U.S. foreign assistance programs; and creates an independent commission to examine how the U.S. government policy towards detainees captured in the war on terror.
Prevent Terrorist Acts With Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Terrorist acts with weapons of mass destruction are the single greatest threat to U.S. national security. The Real Security Act expands the pace and scope of programs to eliminate and safeguard nuclear materials by authorizing a global cleanout of radioactive materials; constructs permanent security arrangements for radioactive materials; expands the Cooperative Threat Reduction program beyond the Former Soviet Union; and dramatically increases resources for a range of under-funded, yet vital, State and Defense Department programs. The bill also includes a number of measures to increase border and port security and respond to a catastrophic terrorist attack. The act also creates or restores a number of programs designed to ensure that this nation's state and local first responders have the training and equipment they need to deal with this threat.
The Real Security Act of 2006: Providing Real Transportation Security
Five years after the attacks of Sept. 11, our transportation systems are still not secure because Republicans in Congress have refused to take the steps necessary to protect Americans. Democrats have learned the lessons of 9/11 and know that we must do better to secure our ports, provide real rail security, increase mass transit security and ensure our airports and airplanes are safe.
Provide Real Port Security.
The Real Security Act enhances cargo security by improving the Container Security Initiative, which calls on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to develop standards for the evaluation, screening and inspection of cargo destined for the U.S. before it leaves a foreign port. It provides assistance to foreign ports to improve cargo security and expedites the Coast Guard's international foreign port inspection program. The Act mandates the establishment of additional Interagency Operational Command Centers for port security and creates training and exercise programs to enhance ports' ability to deter and react to terrorist acts. The proposal also establishes plans for the resumption of shipping in the event of a terrorist incident or natural disaster and calls for the inspection of all containers by radiation at the United States' busiest 22 seaports. Finally, $648 million is provided for security initiatives, including radiation portal monitors, Coast Guard activities and port security grants.
Provide Real Rail Security.
The Real Security Act provides $1.2 billion for rail security and requires that the Transportation Security Administration conduct a railroad threat assessment and submit recommendations for improving rail security. The Act creates a security research and development program, encourages the use of rail car tracking equipment for hazardous material shipped on railways and requires rail companies shipping dangerous materials to create plans to protect their cargo and the public during times of high threat. This legislation also creates a security training program for railroad workers and provides whistleblower status for workers who report security problems.
Provide Real Mass Transit Security.
The Real Security Act provides $3.5 billion for projects designed to deter terrorist attacks, including tunnel protection, chemical, biological, radiological, and explosive detection systems, surveillance technologies as well as perimeter security programs. This legislation also enhances the Information Sharing Analysis Center which provides intelligence to transit systems. A needs-based grant program intended to identify and address transit system vulnerabilities would also be created.
Provide Real Aviation Security.
The Real Security Act removes the screener cap of 45,000 full- time employees that is currently imposed on the Transportation Security Administration's screener workforce. This would ensure that the agency is permitted to properly screen travelers. The act also increases authorizations for aviation security research and development while requiring the DHS to work with the TSA and DOT to improve the detection of emerging explosive threats such as bomb components that can be assembled beyond the checkpoint and liquid explosives. The strengthening of security at foreign aviation repair stations that perform maintenance on domestic air carriers is also required by mandating that security rules be put in place within 90 days of passage of the Act and that any security rules established be reviewed and audited within a 6 month period. Finally, the proposal includes $250 million for TSA aviation security programs, including explosives monitoring equipment. A separate $55 million is provided for increased air cargo inspection.
The Real Security Act of 2006: Equip Our Intelligence Community to Fight Against Terrorists
Democrats want to strengthen our intelligence gathering and provide the oversight necessary to keep Americans safe. For the first time in 28 years, Congress failed last year to pass the Intelligence Authorization Act, a "must pass" piece of legislation. The bill languishes again this year. This legislation guides the intelligence community, providing the necessary resources for the intelligence community, improving Congressional oversight of our nation's intelligence, and ensuring effective interrogation methods. As the Republican Congress stalls, vital intelligence operations are on hold. The Real Security Act includes the Intelligence Authorization Act because passage of this act is critical to our Nation's security.
Providing the Intelligence Community with the Necessary Funding.
Funding our intelligence community should be a top priority. The Real Security Act provides all the funding for the intelligence community for the next year, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), so the men and women of our intelligence community can continue their critical work on the front lines of the war on terror.
Providing the Intelligence Community with the Necessary Tools and Capabilities.
Specifically, the Real Security Act includes funding for important tools and capabilities, including: funding for new language capabilities in key Middle Eastern and Asian languages; funding for the CIA's overseas facilities to win the fight against Al Qaeda and capture and kill Osama bin Laden; and funding to improve paramilitary capabilities, information sharing databases, and innovative technologies and platforms to collect intelligence on weapons of mass destruction and terrorism targets.
Improving Congressional Oversight of Our Nation's Intelligence.
The congressional intelligence committees play an important role in overseeing the nation's intelligence activities. Unfortunately, the Bush administration has undermined oversight and stalled in providing information on these matters to the Congress. The Real Security Act requires the intelligence community to respond to such requests no later than 15 days after the request has been made. In addition, this legislation would require all members of the congressional intelligence committees be briefed regarding intelligence activities, rather than only to a limited number of policymakers, as it stands now.
Ensuring Effective Interrogation Methods to Win the War on Terror.
Reports of Administration political appointees designing detention and interrogation practices based on shaky legal reasoning have undermined America's influence and power in the world and proven counterproductive in the war on terror. The Real Security Act requires the Director of National Intelligence to submit to the congressional intelligence committees a comprehensive report on the intelligence community's compliance with the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. It also requires a report on clandestine detention facilities for individuals captured in the war on terror. Finally, this legislation establishes an Inspector General, who will serve as an independent watchdog to ensure that the intelligence community acts within the law.
/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/
Senate Democrats on New Legislation to Secure America (9/07/2006)
Members of the Democratic Caucus
Akaka, Daniel - (D - HI)
141 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Baucus, Max - (D - MT)
511 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: baucus.senate.gov/emailmax.html
Bayh, Evan - (D - IN)
463 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: bayh.senate.gov/WebMail1.htm
Biden, Joseph - (D - DE)
201 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Bingaman, Jeff - (D - NM)
703 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Boxer, Barbara - (D - CA)
112 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: boxer.senate.gov/contact
Byrd, Robert - (D - WV)
311 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: byrd.senate.gov/byrd_email.html
Cantwell, Maria - (D - WA)
717 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html
Carper, Thomas - (D - DE)
513 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: carper.senate.gov/email-form.html
Clinton, Hillary - (D - NY)
476 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: clinton.senate.gov/email_form.html
Conrad, Kent - (D - ND)
530 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: conrad.senate.gov/webform.html
Dayton, Mark - (D - MN)
346 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: dayton.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm
Dodd, Christopher - (D – CT)
448 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: dodd.senate.gov/webmail/
Dorgan, Byron - (D - ND)
713 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Durbin, Richard - (D - IL)
332 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: durbin.senate.gov/sitepages/contact.htm
Feingold, Russell - (D - WI)
506 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Feinstein, Dianne - (D - CA)
331 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: feinstein.senate.gov/email.html
Harkin, Tom - (D - IA)
731 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: harkin.senate.gov/contact/contact.cfm
Inouye, Daniel - (D - HI)
722 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: inouye.senate.gov/webform.html
Johnson, Tim - (D - SD)
136 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: johnson.senate.gov/ContactPage/emailform.htm
Kennedy, Edward - (D - MA)
317 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: kennedy.senate.gov/contact.html
Kerry, John - (D - MA)
304 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: kerry.senate.gov/bandwidth/contact/email.html
Kohl, Herb - (D - WI)
330 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: kohl.senate.gov/gen_contact.html
Landrieu, Mary - (D - LA)
724 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: landrieu.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm
Lautenberg, Frank - (D – NJ)
324 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: lautenberg.senate.gov/webform.html
Leahy, Patrick - (D - VT)
433 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Levin, Carl - (D - MI)
269 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: levin.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm
Lieberman, Joseph - (D - CT)
706 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: lieberman.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm?regarding=issue
Lincoln, Blanche - (D - AR)
355 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: lincoln.senate.gov/webform.html
Menendez, Robert - (D - NJ)
502 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
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- The Real Security Act of 2006: Democratic Caucus, Fri Sep 8 00:20
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