The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved an amendment sponsored by Congressman Stephen F. Lynch that would increase funding for surface transportation security by $15.6 million. Lynch's amendment is included in H.R. 2217, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which would fund the Department of Homeland Security for Fiscal Year 2014.
"In April, when two bombs were detonated at the Boston Marathon, we received a chilling reminder that our nation remains a target for terrorists and their sympathizers. The foiled plot just one week later to bomb a passenger train running between Canada and the United States demonstrated that our surface transportation systems remain at risk," Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said.
Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States has rightfully strengthened aviation security, with $69.3 billion in funding provided since Fiscal Year 2002. However, during that same time period, surface transportation security received just $3.3 billion, less than five percent of the overall transportation security funding since 9/11. Although five times as many passengers travel by train than by air, the funding disparity for surface transportation remains. Moreover, passenger rail and buses have been targeted in major attacks throughout the world including Madrid, London, Tokyo, Israel and Mumbai, India.
Congressman Lynch's amendment would increase funding for passenger rail and bus security by $15.6 million, bringing it to the enacted FY2013 level of $124.3 million.
"Millions of Americans use our buses and rails every day, yet security for surface transportation remains woefully underfunded," Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said. "The recent events in Boston and the foiled bomb plot on a passenger train serve to show that we must not ignore the potential for a terrorist attack. I thank Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Carter and Ranking Member David Price for their support of my amendment."