In a letter, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) urges leaders of the Senate Appropriations/Homeland Security Subcommittee to reject the cuts made in the House’s Continuing Resolution bill regarding the Port Security Grant program and restore funding for the program to at least the reduced level recommended in the President’s fiscal 2012 budget.
The letter, from AAPA President and CEO Kurt J. Nagle, says that the "Port Security Grant program provides needed federal help to harden security at U.S. ports. Most port areas have developed five-year plans to enhance security by ranking projects based on risk. By decreasing this funding, these five-year plans cannot be carried out, leaving critical security enhancements undone. Additionally, these funds are used to help maintain current levels of security by providing funds for maintenance and replacement of broken systems in order to sustain a certain capability. Reducing these funds by two-thirds will surely have a negative impact on our current ability to protect America’s ports, as well as plans for future improvements."
Nagle asks for serious consideration to the impact that such a cut will have on the nation and calls for the cubcommittee to bring the Port Security Grant program on par with other Homeland Security programs and provide funding for at least $300 million in the final bill.