Feedback given on WMD Commission proposal

Appearing before the House Homeland Security Committee Wednesday, WMD commissioners Bob Graham and Jim Talent provided insight into the current global situation involving the securing of weapons of mass destruction, especially biological agents.

Feedback was also provided on a proposal by Reps. Bill Pascrell, D-NJ, and Peter King, R-NY, to introduce a bill in the House to implement recommendations made by the two senators as members of the congressionally mandated WMD Commission, which wrapped its work in February.

An introduction is expected within a few weeks for the legislation, which would mandate requirements to improve U.S. capabilities to secure deadly pathogens and to prepare for and respond to a WMD attack.

The bill would serve as a companion to a the WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act, introduced in September by Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine.

According to a statement released by Pascrell, the House WMD bill would implement the WMD's recommendations, which were presented in the December 2008 World at Risk report.

"The intent of our bipartisan legislation is to provide a truly comprehensive approach to securing the nation against weapons of mass destruction by looking at all angles - prevention and deterrence; preparedness; detection; attribution; response and recovery," Pascrell said in his statement. "The WMD Commission has laid out our deficiencies quite starkly and now more than eight years after 9/11 is the time to act decisively to counter this great threat to the American people."