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Boxer visits Sacramento Amtrak station to warn of weak security

(The following report appeared on Sacramento television station News 10’s website on May 25.)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer was in Sacramento on Sunday to warn that the city's Amtrak station is vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Boxer said that recent railroad bombings in Spain underscore the necessity of strengthening security for American rail facilities. "We need to have some systems in place to make sure the luggage isn't carrying a bomb and make sure the folks who are getting on there are not up to bad deeds," said Boxer.

Boxer's visit was part of a tour of train stations across the state designed to draw attention to the Rail Transportation Security Act of 2004, a bill to make the nation's rail system less vulnerable to terrorist attack. Boxer is co-sponsoring the measure, which is currently stalled in Congress.

The legislation would authorize $515 million to heighten security on America's railroads. It would also appropriate $777 million to upgrade ventilation, fire safety and emergency access to railroad tunnels in New York, Washington and Baltimore. The bill calls for a pilot program for passenger, baggage and cargo screening.

During Boxer's visit to the train station, backers of Republican Bill Jones, her opponent in the November 2 election, shouted that she was late in attempting to improve rail security.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

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