Golding to testify in D.C. on homeland security

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vicksburg barge company owner Steve Golding is one of eight government and industry officials set to testify today in Washington, D.C., before the House Committee on Homeland Security.

A House subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism will hear from two panels of witnesses on the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program, up for a status update before Congress.

The program, dubbed TWIC, was enacted in 2002 as part of a string of anti-terrorism measures signed into law by President Bush following the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., including the creation of the Department of Homeland Security itself. Administered by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration, the credential is a tamper-proof ID card for maritime workers and merchant mariners who require access to an array of ports.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

By the time a federally imposed deadline passes April 15, 2009, about 750,000 individuals will have TWICs issued by one of 162 enrollment centers nationwide. Three centers are in Mississippi, including one at Ergon Refining at the Port of Vicksburg.

Golding, president of Golding Barge Line Inc., said he will speak in favor of extending the current 30-day waiting period to 60 days to accommodate employees in the barge industry who are on the water past 30 days.

Others scheduled to address the panel are Coast Guard Rear Adm. James Watson; Director of Prevention Policy for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship, Maurine Fanguy; a maritime credentialing director for TSA, Stephen Lord; acting director for homeland security and justice issues for the Government Accounting Office, Judy Marks; president of transportation security systems for Lockheed Martin, Roberto Saarenas, security director for the Port of Tacoma, Philip Byrd Sr. of the American Trucking Association; and Laura Moskowitz, an attorney for the National Employment Law Project.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., is committee chairman. Its ranking member is U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.