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Chemical facility inspections still stalled

Nick Sobczyk
Sep 12, 2023
Sen. Gary Peters

Delete imagePeters in April. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Senate still hasn't figured out how to reauthorize the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program.

Why it matters: Industry and DHS officials are warning about risks for chemical facilities, which currently can't access personnel terrorism screening tools and other federal resources.

Driving the news: "We don't have a path right now," Senate Homeland Security Chair Gary Peters told Axios. "We're still trying to figure that out."

  • Sen. Rand Paul blocked quick passage of the CFATS reauthorization bill before Congress left for the August recess.
  • Paul is demanding that the Senate add his bill to examine duplicative federal programs to the reauthorization.
  • "We've made offers to them on trying to get it passed," Paul told reporters.

Our thought bubble: This is Congress in a nutshell. The reauthorization bill passed the House 409-1 (!) — yet the program has been lapsed for over a month.

  • Without a unanimous consent agreement, the Senate would have to use precious floor time for a vote or add it to a CR later this month.
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