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Inside Politics

9/11 security could cost $21 billion

Story Highlights

• Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office assesses cost of security measures
• 9/11 commission recommendations could cost $21 billion over five years
• Senate has yet to vote on the measures
• Bill was enacted in House Democrats' "first 100 hours" of new Congress
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A bill to enact the 9/11 Commission recommendations -- one of the first bills passed by the new Democratic-led House of Representatives -- will cost $21 billion over five years if enacted into law, congressional budget officials said Friday.

The House passed the bill January 9 during its heralded "first 100 hours" of the new Congress. The Senate has not yet voted on the measure.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said the bill would also allow the Transportation Security Administration to collect nearly $1.3 billion in fees from airline passengers. The money would be spent for airport security improvements.

Rep. Peter King, R-New York., the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, said the report validated his opposition to the bill.

"This bill was rushed to the floor without the Democratic leadership giving us any indication of its massive cost -- and now we know why," King said in a written statement. "Had we known [the cost] before the bill was brought to the floor, it would have been a different story."

Democrats said the bill was needed to fulfill the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

The bill requires the federal government to screen cargo on passenger aircraft, authorize grants to improve police and fire communications, require shipping cargo containers to be scanned before entering the United States and take numerous other steps to improve security.


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