Key Vote Alert on Amendments to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HR 5005)
November 18, 2002
To Members of the United States Senate:
I am writing on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector and region of the country, to strongly urge you to oppose Daschle-Lieberman Amendment numbers 4953 and 4911 to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, or other poison pill amendments.
The most important function of the federal government is to protect and defend the American people and our way of life. With the ongoing threat from terrorist activity, we live in a changed world and this Homeland Security legislation recognizes the need to realign government functions under a single department to meet this new reality. We are very concerned, however, about the pending Daschle-Lieberman amendments to the bill.
The liability provisions contained in the final House-passed version of the Homeland Security legislation are critically important and will do much to make needed anti-terrorism technologies available to our nation. We believe that these provisions are balanced and measured responses to the extremely negative impact our nation's liability system has on technological innovation. Without these provisions, however, the defense, technology and pharmaceutical industries will likely be unable to provide the best technological solutions to help combat terrorism and prevent new attacks (including biological, chemical and nuclear threats).
If the Senate adopts the Daschle-Lieberman amendments, this will doom the Homeland Security bill. We have come too far to turn back now.
We strongly urge you to defeat the pending Daschle-Lieberman amendments to the Homeland Security legislation. Because of the importance of this issue, the Chamber will strongly consider including votes on or in relation to these amendments in our annual "How They Voted" rankings.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce