Barrow: "I'm Fighting in Congress to Stop the Outsourcing of our National Defense"
Savannah, GA - Highlighting his commitment to national security and the need for improved measures that will protect our nation's seaports, 12th District Georgia Congressman John Barrow (D-Savannah) today began airing "Protect America," the second television spot of his 2006 re-election campaign.
"This is the port of Savannah and 18 million tons of foreign cargo comes through here every year," Barrow says in the spot. "The trouble is, only five percent of all foreign cargo is inspected. It's a real weakness in our national security."
A member of the House Transportation Committee and the House Port Security Caucus, Congressman Barrow voted in favor of efforts to require that 100% of all container ship cargo coming in to the United States be screened before arrival.
In addition, he supported the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (H.R. 4954; Vote #127, 05/04/2006), which authorized approximately $5,000,000,000 for improved port and cargo security - evaluating next-generation cargo scanning technology, setting deadlines for the implementation of new security measures for port employees, and requiring the Department of Transportation to develop a plan for deploying radiation portal monitors at every U.S. port.
"Since 9/11, the Port of Savannah has done an outstanding job at improving security," Barrow said. "But the same can't be said for the federal government. Congress needs to do more to provide our ports with all the tools and resources to ensure that there's no weak link in the chain."
Congressman Barrow is also the author of the "Protect America First Act," which would strengthen and expand Congressional oversight of the process that reviews foreign acquisitions of American businesses critical to national security and military defense, such as our ports and defense contractors.
Barrow introduced the bill shortly after it was revealed that a state owned company from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was in the last stages of buying a plant in Rincon, Georgia, that makes critical engine components for U.S. military tanks and aircraft. Details about this deal were released only weeks after the national uproar surrounding the sale of a handful of U.S. ports to yet another company also based in the UAE.
"That's why I wrote the Protect America First Act," Barrow continues in the television spot. "To improve port security and prevent the selling of our ports and military suppliers to foreign companies. I'm fighting in Congress to stop the outsourcing of our national defense."