Schiff Port Security, Rail Safety Measures Enacted

Washington, D.C. – Several important measures authored by Rep. Schiff became law today when the president signed a comprehensive terrorism prevention bill.  The bill, which reauthorized several provisions of the Patriot Act, also included provisions to address seaport security, rail safety, weapons of mass destruction, and methamphetamines.

“The 9/11 report called for us to be more creative in thinking about the possibility of future terrorist attacks, and I agree that we must act now to address all the threats that confront us,” said Schiff.  “These measures will help secure the ports and railways that transport our citizens and are vital to our economy.”

The following Schiff provisions were included in the new law:

  • Port Security – Bans using a vessel to smuggle terrorists or dangerous materials into the country; increases penalties for providing false information about a shipment or fraudulently gaining access to a seaport; and gives law enforcement more tools to stop questionable vessels before they reach a port.  This provision was co-authored by Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) and introduced in the Senate by Sens. Joe Biden, Arlen Specter, and Dianne Feinstein.
  • Rail Safety – Prohibits surveilling, photographing, videotaping, diagramming, or otherwise collecting information in order to plan an attack on a mass transit system.
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction – Criminalizes the use of a vessel for transporting substances (including biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons) that may be used in a terrorist attack.  Also calls for forfeiture of all assets for anyone associated with the shipment of weapons of mass destruction, including technology and material.

Congressman Schiff co-founded the Democratic Study Group on National Security and is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House International Relations Committee.  He is also a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.  Schiff is proud to represent California’s 29th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena and Temple City.