Tester’s border security amendment headed to President’s desk

Measure improving security along northern border expected to become law

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester's measure requiring stronger security along America's northern border has cleared its final hurdle in Congress and now goes to the President's desk where it is expected to be signed into law.

Tester introduced the measure in February as an amendment to the Improving America's Security Act of 2007, which turns into law most of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.  A final version of the bill passed the Senate late last night with a vote of 85 to 8.

Tester's amendment requires: 

  • The U.S. Department    of Homeland Security to report to Congress about the needs and    weaknesses of America's    northern border in states like Montana.      The report is due 180 days after the bill is signed into law.
  • The    Department of Homeland Security to recommend ways of improving security    along America's    3,145-mile border with Canada.    The recommendations are due 270 days after the initial report.
  • An independent    review of security threats along the northern border by the    non-partisan Government Accountability Office.

"This will force us to take inventory and see exactly what we need to make our northern border as secure and as strong as possible," said Tester, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.  "From western Washington to eastern Maine, there are a lot of places we've got to keep our eyes on so we don't lose focus on the War on Terror."

The 9/11 Commission noted a lack of balance in manpower between America's northern and southern borders.  The Commission pointed out that would-be terrorists have been detained at the northern border, including those suspected in the so-called "Millennium Plot" to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on December 31, 1999.