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January 08, 2019

House Passes Extension of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Program

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the House passing H.R. 251, the “Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Extension Act.”

This bipartisan legislation is a two-year extension of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, or CFATS program.  Under CFATS, DHS works with the owners and operators of our nation’s highest risk chemical facilities to ensure those facilities have adequate security measures in place. The program is set to expire next week. Despite broad support from Republicans, Democrats, and industry alike – CFATS is at risk of lapsing and the Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee has suggested letting it expire. In a letter last fall, the Secretary of Homeland urged Congress to pass a short-term authorization to prevent “increase[ed] risk to the country”

“It is critically important that we ensure our nation’s chemical facilities are kept safe from terrorist threats,” Chairman Thompson said. “CFATS has made the U.S. demonstrably safer. Since the program was created, the number of chemical facilities in our country designated as ‘high risk’ has dropped by half.”

“I strongly urge Senator Johnson and his colleagues in the Senate to follow the bipartisan path we’ve set in the House and pass this legislation. Extending CFATS will giving us time to work together improve the program while still keeping Americans safe.  We cannot allow this critical national security program to expire and make all Americans more vulnerable because of petty partisan politics.”

Full floor statement

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978