Local News

Homeland Security May Play Role In U.S. Senate Race

Posted July 1, 2004 4:26 a.m. EDT

— Homeland security will likely be a big issue in this year's U.S. Senate race.

In a news conference Thursday, Bowles said he is concerned about America's coastlines.

"We've got about 700,000 containers coming into this country every couple months, and very few of those -- about 5.4 percent -- are inspected," he said.

Bowles said another concern is the nation's energy facilities.

"We've got real dangers with our electric grids, with our nuclear power facilities, with our chemical plants," he said. "I want to make sure that we do the kinds of things we need to do to protect those facilities."

Bowles said additional firefighters and emergency personnel are needed to respond to terrorists' threats.

Rep. Richard Burr is Bowles' likely Republican opponent in November. He finds little merit in Bowles' idea.

"I would expect his plan to do like the other plans he's introduced -- incorporate 90 percent of what's already introduced in Congress or already having been passed in Congress and 10 percent of potentially an area where there is not an answer to, but it has been the subject of debate in Washington," Burr said.

Bowles also said his plan would help secure U.S. borders to prevent future attacks and to limit shipments of dangerous materials.