Bush touts House aviation security measure
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House is set to vote next week on an airline security bill President Bush calls "the quickest, most effective way to increase aviation security" by strengthening standards for airport screeners, who will be under control of the federal government.
But the bill introduced by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, differs from a similar measure approved by the Senate October 11 because it does not require passenger and baggage screeners to be federal employees.
"The Young bill allows the use of private contractors operating under tough federal standards on background checks with federal law enforcement at every gate," Bush said during his weekly radio address Saturday.
The Senate bill, he said, "is well-intended, (but) the best approach will be one that provides flexibility."
Both the House and Senate bills are based on recommendations Bush made last month -- including federal marshals on airplanes, increased cockpit security and hijack training for pilots -- but Bush said the Young bill more closely matches his proposals.
Bush also used his radio address to explain the need for the antiterrorism bill he signed Friday. The bill grants federal authorities expanded surveillance and intelligence-gathering power.
"For a long time, we have been working under laws written in the era of rotary telephones," he said.
The new law, which Bush said "recognizes the realities and dangers posed by the modern terrorist," was passed with broad bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate.
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