SMART Port Act Clears Committee With Two Amendments by Rep. Loretta Sanchez

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, on Tuesday praised the inclusion of two of her amendments in the base text of the Securing Maritime Activities through Risk-based Targeting for Port Security Act (SMART Port Act).  Rep. Sanchez offered the amendments previously in a full Committee authorization markup.

The first of Rep. Sanchez’ amendments would require DHS to submit to Congress a report analyzing the possible threat of terrorism by small vessel, used to attack U.S. vessels, ports, or maritime assets.  The second amendment would require DHS to establish a process to ensure that individuals not lawfully present in the United States cannot obtain or continue to use a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).

“Currently, millions of small vessels operating in U.S. waters come and go largely unmonitored,” said Sanchez.  “This lack of scrutiny provides ample opportunity for those who would use small vessels in a terrorist attack.  The likelihood and full effects of a small boat attack are still unknown, and so I requested a report analyzing this threat.  It is critical that our Committee has an updated and accurate analysis of the smell vessel threat in our American ports and waterways, and I’m pleased to see my amendment directing this analysis included in the base bill.

“I’m also glad to see my amendment requiring DHS to establish a process to ensure that an individual who is not lawfully present in the United States to obtain or continue to use a TWIC.  This is crucial for our national security and I thank Chairwoman Miller for its inclusion in the base bill.  I also thank Chairwoman Miller for her strong efforts to ensure this Act is bipartisan.”