Congressman Brian Higgins took to the House Floor to urge the Department of Homeland Security to establish a pilot program for commercial pre-inspection at the Peace Bridge to ease traffic congestion at the northern border.
Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his support for initiating the pilot, set forth in the Beyond the Border agreement between the United States and Canada, at Western New York’s Peace Bridge.
Congressman Higgins, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, has previously encouraged Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to include the Peace Bridge in the pre-inspection pilot program.
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The text of Congressman Higgins’ speech is below:
The Peace Bridge is the second busiest crossing at the U.S.-Canada border. Expediting traffic at the bridge is essential to the economic future of Western New York.
The historic Beyond the Border agreement between the U.S. and Canada raises the possibility of pre-inspecting much of the U.S.-bound cargo traffic on the Canadian side of the border crossing. I have repeatedly advocated that the Department of Homeland Security initiate a pilot program for commercial pre-inspection at the Peace Bridge. Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo added his strong support of this proposal.
What Governor Cuomo understands Mr. Speaker is that pre-inspection at the Peace Bridge would go a long way toward improving congestion at the bridge, and thereby further integrating the Western New York economy with that of Southern Ontario.
The success of the Western New York economy is undoubtedly tied to predictable and reliable access into and out of Canada. Let’s take the steps necessary to open up this bottleneck.