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News Brief: Christensen Concerned Over Port Security Cuts

February 25, 2005 – Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen expressed concerns about the elimination of dedicated funding for port security in President George W. Bush's Fiscal Year 2006 budget. Christensen, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and the Port Security Caucus, said in a release that "the administration has chosen to ignore the real threats to our ports with this year’s proposals.
"The president’s budget replaces the current program of targeted funding for ports with an Infrastructure Protection Program that forces ports to compete with railroads, highways and others for scarce security funding," she said in the release.
Christensen said the $600 million proposed by the administration is far less than the $5.4 billion that the Coast Guard estimates will be necessary to meet port security needs over the next 10 years.
"Over the past three years, the Virgin Islands have received approximately $5 million in port security funding which has helped to secure our ports at the West Indian Co, Ltd., Hovensa, the Port Authority, WAPA and others," Christensen said. She said that is not enough.
"We must provide a specific source of funding to guarantee that our ports are secure. We must provide enough tools to detect dangerous materials before they enter our country," she said.

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