Bush signs bill to implement 9/11 panel recommendations

Bush signs bill to implement 9/11 panel recommendations

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush signed [press release] an anti-terror bill [PDF text, HR 1 materials] Friday that implements recommendations by the 9/11 commission [official website]. The measure will transfer funds to states and cities found to be at high risk for terrorist attacks and also includes a provision to screen all air and sea cargo coming into the US within five years. Bush criticized the bill for providing billions of dollars for grants and other programs he deemed unnecessary and promised that he would not ask for that money in his 2009 budget request.

The bill passed [JURIST report] the Senate last Thursday by a 85-8 vote [roll call] and the House last Friday by a 371-40 vote [roll call]. Critics argued that the technology does not exist to efficiently monitor cargo without interrupting trade; as a compromise, the bill allows the Homeland Security secretary to extend the five-year deadline in two-year increments if necessary. AP has more.