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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Democrats' new "bio" bill links police to SABRE, Amtrack systems

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Fri, 26 Oct 2001 08:52:22 -0400
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: Democrats' new "bio" bill links police to SABRE, Amtrak systems
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com

A more detailed summary of the Bioterrorism Protection Act is
available here --- final bill has not been written yet -- though the
pages are not sequential, so it's only for the brave:

Excerpts from that summary:
* "Evaluate need to vaccinate first responders against smallpox"
* "Utilize biometric techniques to identify suicide-biological-bombs"
* "Increase surveillance through development of sentinel strain.
Create a network of interconnected databases for near-real time
integration of threat indicator data" * "Establish a perception
management and economic market mitigation plan and resources" *
"Ensure isolated, genetically diverse pools of seed and livestock to
replenish stocks destroyed in disease containment" * "Assess and
harden physical security of water-bottling facilites" * "The handoff
between intelligence and law enforcement agencies must be made
smoother" * "Use GPS and wireless identification systems to monitor
commercial traffic in high-risk and border areas" * "Ensure that
private databases (SABRE, Amtrak reservations, etc.) are able to
interface with law enforcement information stores immediately"




    Dems Ready Bioterrorism Bill
    By Declan McCullagh and Ben Polen
    2:00 a.m. Oct. 26, 2001 PDT

    WASHINGTON -- In an attempt to differentiate themselves from their
    GOP counterparts, House Democrats are preparing legislation they
    say will shield America from biological terrorism.

    As anxieties about anthrax mushroomed on Capitol Hill -- with the
    deadly bacteria discovered in five congressional office buildings
    so far -- House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Missouri) said
    Thursday that new spending and police powers are necessary to
    protect the public.

    At a press conference held in the open air away from any of the
    polluted buildings, Gephardt said his "Bioterrorism Protection
    Act" would earmark $7 billion for homeland security -- including
    $1.4 billion on vaccines and antibiotics -- and provide police
    with instant access to private databases such as the airline's
    SABRE system and Amtrak reservations.




LEGISLATION WASHINGTON, DC - Rep. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Vice Chair of
the Democratic Caucus and Chairman of the House Democratic Task Force
on Homeland Security, joined by Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt and
Members of the Task Force, today announced the Democratic proposal to
protect communities throughout America against future bioterrorist
threats or attacks. The Democratic Bill, the Bioterrorism Protection
Act (BioPAct) of 2001, seeks to eliminate biological threats, secure
our borders on land and at sea, protect our food and water, equip our
communities with the resources to prevent and respond to bioterrorism,
and strengthen our Intelligence through full coordination, using our
most advanced technology to fight bioterrorism. Menendez made the
following remarks: "I'm Bob Menendez, the Chairman of the House
Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security, and I first want to thank
the chairs and vice chairs of the working groups that helped write
this plan: Bill Pascrell, Sanford Bishop, Bobby Scott, Jane Harman,
Ike Skelton, Bob Borski, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Ellen Tauscher, Sheila
Jackson-Lee, Mike Honda, Jim Turner, and Jerry Costello - and I want
to thank the incredible work of over 80 Members of our Task Force on
this bill. These aren't just Members of Congress, they're husbands and
wives, mothers and fathers, working to make our country and their
communities safe and secure. And I think they've done a great job.
"What we've learned in the last few weeks is that no matter what we as
a people are confronted with, we will overcome and defeat our
adversaries. No attack, no threat, no evil will undermine our resolve
and our strength. America stands proud and firm - our country and our
people have served as an example to all of humanity. America has
reacted to this unspeakable inhumanity with resiliency & humanity -
humanity in the face of evil. "We call the Bioterrorism Protection Act
"BioPAct" because we know that every American needs to be a part of
the fight, part of a pact to protect our Homeland. And if we're asking
the public to be 'vigilant', then they need and deserve to be informed
in full and given the chance to be a part of a dialogue with the
officials who work for them. This bill does that. (more) "BioPAct is a
pact between the American people and their government, working
together, called to national service, marshaling our vast resources,
to keep America safe from bioterrorism. The plan doesn't just draw on
government programs, but on the American spirit, intellect &
creativity, breaking new frontiers, setting an example the world can
follow in this new age. "We're here to tell our fellow citizens that
we can beat this foe - and we can protect our Homeland. "The BioPAct
will proactively assess the new threats and risks we face, so we make
sure we target our funding where it's needed most. It will eliminate
biological threats at the source, by helping countries like Russia and
the other former Soviet states prevent their biological agents from
getting into our enemies' hands. We will secure our borders on land
and at sea by adding thousands of new border agents and by putting our
most advanced technology at work to screen out terrorists and the
weapons they might try to bring with them - whether they try to enter
our nation at airports, on ships, by foot, or in a car. And BioPAct
will keep our food and water supply safe and secure by putting a
comprehensive new inspection protocol in place. "We will make sure our
local communities have all the resources they need - from greater
hospital capacity, to police and firefighters trained in
counter-terrorism. "We can prevent disease outbreaks through early and
rapid detection; and can save lives by making sure we have the
vaccines and medicines to treat people - and a plan in place to get
them where they need to go on a moment's notice. This bill does that.
And BioPAct strengthens our Intelligence by ensuring our many
government agencies coordinate information and planning. We need one
comprehensive strategy - not a dozen different ones. "This bill is a
commitment to do all this, and a lot more - because we know there is
nothing more important than keeping American families safe. "This is
the first in a series of proposals this Task Force and we Democrats in
the House are putting forward to address Homeland Security. My
colleagues and I look forward to working with the President and the
Republicans to get the job done - in fact we met with Director Ridge
yesterday, and I'm confident we can work together as one American
team. "And as part of that team effort, we also call on the President
to use the funding already allocated to fight terrorism to begin a
national threat assessment; to help local communities cover the
unexpected overtime costs they have already borne in response to the
new threat environment since September 11th; and to rapidly dedicate
new resources to our Coast Guard, our border security, and our postal
service. We can and will protect our Homeland. "I'm now proud to
introduce our Democratic Leader, Dick Gephardt, who had the foresight
early on to work with our Caucus Chairman, Martin Frost, to create
this Task Force - bringing so many Members together to work on an
issue that's on the mind of every American. He's been an inspiration
to this Congress and to our nation - Ladies and Gentlemen: Dick
Gephardt - "Thank you."

Executive Summary of the BioPAct:
PROTECTION ACT (BioPAct) of 2001 A $7 Billion Pact with America Public
Health Infrastructure and Response to Bioterrorism ($3.5 billion)
Improving Community Emergency Response Capacity and Preparedness -- $1
billion Increasing hospital capacity, educating medical personnel,
increasing nursing and clinical lab personnel, and providing training
to first responders. Ensuring an Adequate Supply of Vaccines and
Treatments for All Americans -- $1.4 billion Increasing the national
stockpile of anthrax antibiotics, developing and acquiring additional
doses of smallpox vaccines, researching and developing new vaccines
and antibiotics, training and equipping health professionals to
provide antibiotics and vaccines, and expediting FDA approval of new
products. Enhancing Community Planning and Intergovernmental
Coordination -- $600 million Providing planning grants to local
communities and health care providers to develop emergency response
plans that meet certain minimum federal guidelines, requiring states
to submit medical response plans to the federal government, funding
state trauma care systems, and strengthening intergovernmental
coordination. Enhancing Surveillance, Improving Communications, and
Strengthening Technology Infrastructure -- $500 million Improving
state and local surveillance, training health care personnel in the
detection of illnesses related to biological attacks, upgrading
laboratories, ensuring a 24-hour public health system is available to
local providers, improving and expanding CDC surveillance
capabilities, building local technology and communication systems,
enhancing communications among agencies, and requiring state and
federal agencies to share with first responders important information
about the potential dangers of an emergency site.   Protecting Our
Food And Water ($800 million) Keeping Our Food Safe -- $725 million
Protecting crops and livestock through increased surveillance and
research, strengthening both physical and information security at key
agricultural facilities, increasing inspections of imported food
shipments with additional inspectors, increasing the inspections of
domestic production plants, coordinating and testing federal emergency
response plans, and helping states track foodborne agents. Keeping Our
Water Supply Safe -- $75 million Reviewing emergency preparedness and
vulnerabilities of water systems, providing resources to address
deficiencies in security, developing improved monitoring systems to
track water quality, improving security of information systems,
improving security of water-bottling facilities, and implementing
background checks for quality testers at treatment plants and bottling
facilities. Enhancing Law Enforcement's Ability to Protect the Nation
($870 million) Providing the right tools to law enforcement agencies
-- $275 million Expanding federal authority over biological agents and
toxins; establishing new criminal offenses involving the possession
and unsafe handling of biological agents; developing and deploying new
screening hardware, software, computer infrastructure, and training to
support biometric technology; creating new COPS grants to local
communities for counter-terrorism training and equipment; giving
grants to local governments for strategic planning and
intergovernmental coordination related to terrorism preparedness and
response; providing funds to eliminate the backlog of convicted
offender DNA samples yet to be entered in the FBI database. Securing
Our Borders at Land and Sea -- $345 million Increasing the size of the
United States Border Patrol Force and the number of INS and Customs
Inspectors at ports of entry; implementing biometric scanning
techniques at border checkpoints; funding development and deployment
of scanning technology capable of detecting explosive devices,
biological and chemical contaminants; mandating better INS tracking of
visas and integrating visa monitoring with federal watch lists;
providing Coast Guard with enhanced training and equipment. Addressing
Threats to Mail Delivery Services -- $250 million Developing and
deploying faster scanning technologies, implementing improved mail
tracking abilities to track suspicious packages to their source, and
investigating procedures to treat mail and mitigate threats posed by
contaminated mail. Strengthening Our Intelligence Through Full
Coordination ($1.1 billion) Improving Organization and Coordination of
Intelligence Community -- $270 million Conducting a threat assessment
to identify vulnerabilities and provide a basis for a national
strategy for homeland security; removing barriers to efficient
information sharing between intelligence collection and information
use by law enforcement and first responders; conducting a public
education campaign to alert Americans to the threat and appropriate
responses for biological weapons. Improving Intelligence Capabilities
-- $850 million Deploying biological and chemical detectors for site
analysis, continual surveillance of fixed sites, and improved
identification of foreign biological agent possession; increasing
language translation skills and improving usage of language resources
across agencies; increasing human intelligence assets. The Military: 
Preparing, Responding & Assisting Communities ($720 million) Initial
Crisis Response and First Responder Support -- $420 million Increasing
military domestic crisis response teams, creating and training
additional Civil Support Teams, and training and equipping military
and civilian emergency responders with interoperable communications
equipment. Interagency Crisis and Consequence Management Exercises --
$100 million Implementing a uniform government-wide evaluation system
to ensure proficiency and achievement of military domestic crisis
response, increasing training of military personnel for response to
weapons of mass destruction incidents, and increasing resources for
military involvement in consequence and crisis management exercises.
Research and Development -- $100 million Accelerating technology
development in chemical and biological research (prevention and
treatment), advanced sensors, and other promising technologies.
Cooperative Threat Reduction (Nunn-Lugar) -- $100 million Securing the
supply of biological and chemical weapons-grade material from the
former Soviet Union, improving Russian and former Soviet Union border
and export controls, and increasing support for the Material
Protection, Control and Accounting Program. ###

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