CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 2611 is expected to be considered on Wednesday, January 20, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) on May 21, 2009. The Committee on Homeland Security reported the bill by voice vote.
H.R. 2611 would authorize funding for Fiscal Year 2010 and subsequent years for the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to support the Securing the Cities Initiative, a program to detect illicit nuclear and radiological material in urban areas.
For each city that participated in the program in 2009, the bill would authorize the appropriation of $40 million for Fiscal Year 2010, $20 million for 2011, and at least $10 million for each subsequent year. H.R. 2611 would authorize the appropriation of such sums as may be necessary for each fiscal year to implement this program in at least two new areas.
The legislation authorizes the Securing the Cities Initiative, a DHS program dedicated to protecting any city and its surrounding region against radiological or nuclear threats. The program establishes a ring of radiological detectors on highways, toll plazas, bridges, tunnels, and waterways. Currently, it is implemented only in New York City and is run as a partnership among New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut law enforcement groups.
In June 2009, the House voted to appropriate $40 million for Fiscal Year 2010 for the program. In conference, however, the program received only $20 million. This bill authorizes sufficient funds to get the program fully operational in the Tri-state region, and authorizes sustainment levels of funding thereafter, according to Committee on Homeland Security Republican staff.
According to CBO, implementing H.R. 2611 would cost $206 million over five years, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.