The AP has reported that the Senate came to an agreement last week on ports security legislation
, hoping to approve bolstered protections before November's elections to stop nuclear materials from being smuggled into the country.
The $835m bill, which has languished in the Senate for years, resembles plans the House approved in May. But it's not clear how Congress will pay for the security measures
, including putting monitors at the Port of Houston and 21 other ports to screen for materials to make radiological "dirty" bombs or nuclear weapons.
The agreement among the Senate Finance, Commerce and Homeland Security committees cleared
the way for quick consideration by the full Senate. House and Senate aides said they expected the legislation to go to a conference committee.
The Bush administration has spent about $10b on ports security since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.