Responding to the inclusion of $400 million for port security grants in the mark-up of the fiscal 2008 Homeland Security Appropriations bill last Friday, American Association of Port Authorities
(AAPA) President and CEO Kurt Nagle praised
the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security
and its chairman, Rep. David Price
(D-NC), and ranking member, Rep. Hal Rogers
"As handlers of most of America
's vast international cargo trade, public ports are often our first line of defense against terrorism," said Mr. Nagle. "Today, which happens to be National Maritime Day, America's ports applaud the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security for including the funding necessary in their Homeland Security appropriations bill to help protect our ports against acts of terrorism that have the potential to disrupt shipping, wreak havoc on our economy and harm our citizens."
Nagle noted that, while funding for port security has been on the increase in the years following 9/11, this year Congress
is making port security a priority. The current wartime supplemental bill includes additional funds to bring the FY'07 funding level to $400 million, and now the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee continued
this level for FY'08. These two actions will meet the authorization levels in the SAFE Port Act, which was passed into law last year
, which called for a funding level of $400 million annually, over five years.