Congress sends bill renewing anti-terrorism program to Trump

Congress sends bill renewing anti-terrorism program to Trump
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Congress sent legislation to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE on Thursday that would reauthorize a program setting standards on protecting manufacturers and other chemical facilities from terror attacks.

The program is set to sunset on Thursday, meaning Trump will have to sign it into law quickly in order to prevent it from lapsing.

The Senate approved an amended version of the bill to reauthorize the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program for 15 months on Wednesday evening, and the House passed it by voice vote Thursday.


The House had initially passed a bill earlier this month reauthorizing the standards for two years. But Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonDemocratic senator warns O'Rourke AR-15 pledge could haunt party for years Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks Hillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks MORE (R-Wis.) had rejected that version of the bill, saying that he would only accept a short-term extension. Johnson sought broader reforms to the program.

On Wednesday, he agreed to a 15-month reauthorization of the program, after negotiations with the committee’s ranking member Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersHillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Lawmakers weigh responses to rash of ransomware attacks Dem senator calls for Pentagon watchdog to probe Air Force's Trump resort stay MORE (D-Mich.).

Johnson has authored legislation that would make changes to the Department of Homeland Security program, which applies to facilities that handle certain chemicals.

Industry groups, as well as Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network DOJ to Supreme Court: Trump decision to end DACA was lawful Top immigration aide experienced 'jolt of electricity to my soul' when Trump announced campaign MORE, had advocated for a clean renewal of the program without any reforms as it approached its authorization deadline, to stop it from lapsing.

Several of those groups issued statements Thursday applauding the bill’s passage and urging Trump to quickly sign the measure.

“The continuity of this program without interruption is critical for industry and national security because it ensures manufacturers can confidently make appropriate, economically justifiable, long-term investments to protect high-risk facilities,” Laura Berkey-Ames, the director of energy and resources policy for the National Association of Manufacturers, said in a statement.

American Chemistry Council President and CEO Cal Dooley said the bill “will give Congress time to work on bolstering CFATS and provide the regulatory certainty needed to support the industry’s ongoing efforts to safeguard chemical facilities and communities.”

And Eric Byer, the president of the National Association of Chemical Distributors, said that continuing CFATS “ensures the chemical industry and regulators work together to keep our nation’s chemical facilities secured against potential terrorist attacks.”