Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
The text of the amendment is as follows:
Amendment No. 12 offered by Mr. Hastings of Washington:
In section 230 of the bill, strike ``The'' and insert the following:
(a) Aviation Security.--The
In section 230 of the bill, add at the end the following:
(b) Cargo Screening.--The Secretary shall increase the number of canine detection teams, as of the date of enactment of this Act, deployed for the purpose of meeting the 100 percent air cargo screening requirement set forth in section 44901(g) of title 49, United States Code, by not less than 100 canine teams through fiscal year 2011.
The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 474, the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Hastings) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Washington.
Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank my colleagues, Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas and Mr. Rogers of Alabama, for cosponsoring this very important amendment.
Mr. Chairman, highly trained K-9 teams have been successfully employed in the United States to screen airports and cargo since 1973. Dogs are extremely reliable and their mobility makes them invaluable in screening all types of cargo quickly and effectively.
As we approach the August 2010 deadline to screen 100 percent of cargo transported on passenger airplanes, it is critical that the TSA is able to deal with all types of cargo without necessarily slowing down exports. Within my district, cherry growers transport half of the cherries they export on passenger aircraft, and K-9s are by far the most workable screening method for these highly perishable products.
My amendment would increase the number of K-9 teams specifically dedicated to air cargo by a minimum of 100 dogs. The need for additional K-9s to screen air cargo is clear. For example, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport began screening all of its cargo earlier this year. In order to meet the needs of all exporters, TSA will bring K-9 teams to the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the country during the cherry harvest to ensure that all cherries are screened in a timely manner. Once
a 100 percent screening requirement goes into effect next year, the burden on all existing K-9 teams will only increase.
At a time when our economy is struggling, we should not be adding new roadblocks for American farmers and businesses. I strongly urge my colleagues to support keeping our skies secure without interrupting commerce and vote ``yes'' on the Hastings/Jackson-Lee/Rogers amendment.
Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Again, let me thank the chairman of the full committee, Mr. Thompson, and as well Mr. King and my colleague, Mr. Dent. It was a pleasure to work with Mr. Hastings and Rogers of Alabama.
So I rise in support of the Hastings/Rogers/Jackson-Lee amendment. I appreciate their collegiality and their willingness to work with me on this important amendment. We have toured the Homeland Security sites that have had K-9s. I have heard from airports who said, Give me one good dog, and we will provide security for America.
TSA's explosive detection K-9 teams are important and effective tools for securing all modes of transportation in the United States. The use of K-9 teams has managed what few other security measures can boast: They are well-liked by the community and traveling public. Our committee worked hard to reaffirm our support of K-9 teams for explosive detection in the different transportation modes through H.R. 2200. I'm proud to have led these efforts.
This amendment rounds out these important provisions. As we speak, [Page: H6210]
TSA continues its work meeting the hundred percent cargo screening requirement established by the 9/11 Act. And let me, as an insert, indicate that I am very proud of the language that we have about 100 percent cargo screening. It is one that we worked on with the Department of Homeland Security. We worked with Mr. Markey, we worked with our chairman and our ranking member of
both committees--the subcommittee and full committee.
We want to have 100 percent cargo screening. A hundred additional K-9 teams that will be deployed under this amendment will help ensure TSA's success. Mr. Hastings, Mr. Rogers, and I have offered what I perceive to be a thoughtful amendment, and I urge my colleagues to support it. I thank Mr. Hastings and Mr. Rogers for their collaboration.
With that, I am going to yield back.
Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I yield myself the balance of my time.
I want to thank my friend from Texas for her thoughtful remarks and for working on this issue. Agri-business is big in our area, and cherry season is a very tight time frame. It is important that nothing slows down the process of getting these cherries to market. So with that, I want to thank my friend from Guam for also endorsing this amendment, and with that, I urge my colleagues to vote for the amendment.