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internet gambling UPDATE

Topic closed. 5 replies. Last post 10 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.

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LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
Tennessee
United States
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October 15, 2004
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Posted: September 29, 2006, 2:45 pm - IP Logged

Congress near approval on port security

By JIM ABRAMS Associated Press Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans pushed Friday for passage of a major ports security bill, giving lawmakers something to add to their resume as they head home for an election expected to be dominated by security issues.

Democrats, while generally behind the ports security bill, complained that it failed to address rail and mass transit, another area considered highly vulnerable to terrorist attack. They also complained that Republicans were using the bill as a vehicle for other GOP-backed measures.

House and Senate negotiators said late Thursday they had reached tentative agreement on the ports aspect of the legislation, which outlines steps to protect the nation's 361 ports from what could be catastrophic attacks from chemical, biological or nuclear devices.

If a final compromise is reached, the two chambers could vote on it Friday or Saturday, before Congress begins a five-week recess for the Nov. 7 elections.

With an eye to the election, Congress has concentrated on security-related issues in the past two weeks, considered measures on military tribunals, President Bush's wiretapping program, spending for defense and homeland security and a bill to build a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border.

The ports bill was still being drafted early Friday, but aides said it may include a court security bill championed by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and legislation to limit Internet gambling.

There also was a proposal to give legal immunity to telecommunications companies that give subscriber records to the government.

"We had a chance to get more screeners at our nation's airports, add more security for our transit systems and protect cargo and people as they traverse the country by rail," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. Instead, Republicans "are trying to stuff the legislation with gifts to special interests and large corporations."

"Republicans have once again shortchanged America by leaving our rail, mass transit and aviation systems vulnerable," said Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, top Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee.

Democrats were upset that the final version apparently would drop provisions in the original Senate bill that approved $4.5 billion for rail and mass transit security. They pointed to terrorist attacks on rail systems in London, Madrid, Spain, and Mumbai, India, formerly known as Bombay, as evidence of the vulnerability of American railways.

But Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said the port bill "will make a real difference to the security of our country," adding new layers of protection for the 11 million cargo containers that enter the nation every year.

Collins said the bill would include approval of $400 million a year over five years for risk-based grants for training and exercises at ports.

It would require the nation's 22 largest ports, which handle 98 percent of all cargo entering the country, to install radiation detectors by the end of next year.

Pilot programs would be established at three foreign ports to test technology for nonintrusive cargo inspections. Currently only one foreign port, Hong Kong, scans all U.S.-bound cargo for nuclear materials.

The Homeland Security Department would be required to set up protocols for resuming operations after an attack or incident. It is feared that a terrorist attack, such as a nuclear device set off by remote control, could cripple the entire economy as well as cause massive casualties.

The bill would authorize $3.4 billion over five years for ports security.

Democrats said that was still short of what was needed. "We inspect just 5 percent of incoming shipping containers, while 95 percent gets into our country without us knowing what's inside," Lautenberg said.

Congress made port security a priority after a February fight over a buyout that put a Dubai company in control of some operations at six American ports. The outcry led the Dubai company, DP World, to sell the U.S. operations to an American company.

___

The bill is H.R. 4954

    LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
    Tennessee
    United States
    Member #7853
    October 15, 2004
    11338 Posts
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    Posted: September 29, 2006, 2:47 pm - IP Logged

    The ports bill was still being drafted early Friday, but aides said it may include a court security bill championed by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and legislation to limit Internet gambling.

    well if that internet gambling legislation gets added kiss online goodbye....

      LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
      Tennessee
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      Member #7853
      October 15, 2004
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      Posted: September 29, 2006, 2:55 pm - IP Logged

      you have to convince the dems to filibuster it. This looks really, really bad, but it isn't over yet.

        JAP69's avatar - alas
        South Carolina
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        November 4, 2001
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        Posted: September 29, 2006, 3:00 pm - IP Logged

        They will pin the tail on the donkey somewhere.

        MAGA

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          October 7, 2003
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          Posted: September 29, 2006, 3:18 pm - IP Logged

          Those people are there doing as they want to, because they were elected, they are there only for so long unless they get re-elected, if they don't get re-elected then they are out and can no longer do as they want to there.

          You voted them in, you can vote them out too, by not voting for them the next time that there are elections.

          By then the damage will already have been done, but by showing to them who is in control with your votes, sooner or later the right people can be voted in and laws can be reversed or changed to some extent otherwise out they also go, only vote those in that will do as you want them to.

          Those same people don't have to be there forever, not if you don't keep on voting for them.

            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
            Tennessee
            United States
            Member #7853
            October 15, 2004
            11338 Posts
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            Posted: September 29, 2006, 3:25 pm - IP Logged

            CongressDaily update:

            HOMELAND SECURITY
            GOP Weighs Court, Gambling, Liability Adds To Port Bill ...
            House and Senate Republicans were working behind the scenes today to attach last-minute provisions to a major maritime security bill, including the court security and online gambling legislation that Republican leaders sought unsuccessfully this week to add to the FY07 defense authorization bill. These lawmakers also indicated it was not likely they would convene another formal conference meeting, preventing Democrats from adding amendments to the final conference agreement on the bill. This prompted outrage among minority lawmakers and staff today.
            At least three provisions emerged as late candidates for additions to the bill: beefing up security at the nation's courts, including language allowing judges to carry concealed guns; providing liability protections to phone companies that assist with the government's wiretapping program; and cracking down on the $12 billion online gambling industry, lawmakers and aides said. The court security provision had been tied to a House border security provision targeting immigrant gangs and criminal illegal aliens, but the two have been separated, a knowledgeable aide said. The immigration provision will be held until the lame-duck session after the Nov. 7 elections, the aide added.
            House Homeland Security Chairman King declined to comment on the latest negotiations, saying only, "All this is in flux." The port security bill is an attractive target because it is viewed as one of the last legislative vehicles to be passed by Congress before lawmakers head home to campaign. "If I were to bet, we'll finish it up today," said House Homeland Security Economic Security Subcommittee Chairman Daniel Lungren, R-Calif., who co-authored the underlying port bill. "I think we're going to be here late."

            [...]
            At presstime, House leaders still had not circulated final bill language, even though a vote is expected tonight. Democrats and their aides in both chambers were outraged that they might not get to offer amendments at a conference meeting and that they had yet to see the final bill language. One conference meeting was held late Thursday night, but there was no bill language and no amendments were allowed to be offered. "That was all pomp and circumstance last night," said Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. "And it was less circumstance and more pomp." A House GOP aide countered, "We had every intention of reconvening the conference, it's coming down to the wire." When asked if another conference meeting would be held and amendments allowed, Lungren said, "I don't think that's going to happen."
            Democrats were mounting a protest by presstime. "Some of the Democrats that were on the conference committee are in the process of putting together a formal response to Chairman King. It is probably going to go in the form of a letter," one aide said. It was not clear if Democrats might withhold their signatures to the conference report. "It remains to be seen if people are willing to sign off when the process has been so messed up," an aide said. Still, Pascrell acknowledged that most Democrats will probably still vote for the bill, given the importance of improving the security of U.S. ports and commercial shipping.