Floor Updates

Brown-OH, Murkowski

Morning Business

Mar 01 2012

05:36 PM

Senator Brown-OH: (5:02 PM)
  • Spoke on improving vehicle public safety.
    • SUMMARY "The bill would address many of the shortfalls from the Bluffton accident. It would mean better protection for occupants, it would mean - improve safety equipment and devices and the need for on-board recorders with the ability to collect crash data. The safety measures are neither exotic or complicated commonsense that have been in many cases are widely used but since they're not required by law they've not been installed in most American motor coaches. Instead of saving lives the public remains at risk. Some who oppose improved our safety standards will tell you this isn't a motor coach problem, they'll tell you they have a problem with road bus companies or bad drivers. Certainly that's part of the problem but we can't simply look the other way and reject the idea that improving the safety of motor coach manufacturing and of the motor coaches is unnecessary or fiscally imprudent We can get bad operators off the road but we must ensure passenger safety in the tragic event of an accident. If the technology to save lives and reduce injuries exists, we must put that technology to use."

Senator Murkowski: (5:20 PM)
  • Spoke on SECURE IT Act.
    • SUMMARY "Our bill focuses on four different areas that we believe can draw bipartisan support and result in good public law and those four areas are information sharing, FISMA reform, which is intelligence sharing reform, criminal penalties as well as additional research. What the SECURE IT Act bill does - and i guess what it does not do is equally important. It does not simply add new layers of bureaucracy and regulation that will serve little purpose and achieve meager results. The homeland security committee bill would arm the department of homeland security with expansive new authorities to review all sectors of our economy and designate what is termed covered critical infrastructure for further regulation. What we hear out there from industry is that this amounts to regulation almost for regulation's sake and in the electricity industry's case, this is resulting in duplicative regulation that I'm afraid will lead to a compliance-first mentality. Companies will focus on meeting new federal requirements and passing a seemingly endless string of audits. But these heavy-handed statistic requirements from yet one more federal regulator will not necessarily address the very real threats that we face. So again, the concern is you're going to have industry focused on how do we comply? How do we avoid a bad audit instead of using their ingenuity, using their resources to ensure that we stay ahead of any future cyberattack. We need to be more nimble. We have to have a more nimble approach to deal with cyber-related threats that are constantly growing and constantly changing. The threat that we see today is not necessarily the threat that we might anticipate tomorrow. so we've got to stay ahead of the game."