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(SEATTLE, WA) -- Today, with the White House stubbornly defending the status quo, Senator Patty Murray renewed her call for comprehensive cargo and port security reform. Responding to the President’s spokesman, Sen. Murray called on the President to join her effort to make port safety a top homeland security priority.

Murray's full statement follows:

Today, the White House showed us just how large a problem we have at our ports. The President’s spokesman, in an effort to defend the Administration, said, “If this transaction were blocked, this would not change port security one iota.”

That’s exactly the problem. President Bush believes in the status quo, but we know massive, comprehensive reform is necessary. CTPAT and CSI are not enough to keep us safe.

While the President has been staffing out cargo and port security, I’ve worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft legislation transforming our nation’s port and cargo security system.

We need to improve the security at our ports by more than iota’s or incremental steps. We need comprehensive reform and improvement, and that’s exactly what Sen. Collins and I propose to do. We are talking about a new way to secure our nation’s ports and cargo – by requiring standards for all containers entering our country and creating an infrastructure that will allow us to monitor and respond to threats to our country.

The White Houses defense of the existing system is short-sighted. If our country is going to really be safe, we have to change the way we are doing business – not defend the status quo.

The President likes to say that security is his top priority. It’s time for him to put his personal attention and time into turning that rhetoric into reality. I urge the Administration to work with me to truly transform our nation’s port and cargo security system – only then can we look the American people square in the eye and say we’re doing our job.

More information on the GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act