Issue Date: June 25, 2007
House approves DHS spending bill
On June 15, the House approved a fiscal 2008 spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security that includes a provision that would permit states and local governments to enact chemical plant security regulations that are more stringent than federal standards. The $36.3 billion budget measure has drawn a veto threat from the White House because it exceeds President George W. Bush's request for the department by $2.1 billion. The White House also objects to language added to the bill that would allow state and local regulations to exceed federal rules on chemical plant security, saying the provision could conflict with or hinder DHS's own security requirements. In April, DHS issued an interim final chemical plant security rule that gave the department the authority to block state or local requirements if they conflict with or "frustrate the purpose" of the federal program. The American Chemistry Council supports the DHS regulation as it is and says further action by Congress is unnecessary.
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