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Klobuchar, Cravaack bills set to become law

Congress passed both bills on unanimous votes on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers approved two separate bills sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Chip Cravaack on Wednesday,  sending them to President Obama for his signature.

The House passed a Klobuchar bill to eliminate redundant baggage screening requirements at airports with special agreements with the United States. According to Klobuchar’s office:

Baggage at certain international airports, including many in Canada, undergoes the same high-level screening procedures employed at U.S. ports of entry, but current law still requires luggage from these airports to be rescreened upon entry into the United States, creating unnecessary hassle and delays for travelers. The senators’ bipartisan legislation would waive the rescreening requirement for luggage processed through preclearance airports that have already installed U.S.-equivalent baggage scanning equipment and procedures, allowing passengers to skip the time-consuming procedure without compromising security.

The Senate, meanwhile, passed a Coast Guard funding bill that included a Cravaack-sponsored provision to allow the state of Minnesota to license fishing vessels on Lake Mille Lacs. Starting in 2010, the Coast Guard began requiring Mille Lacs fishing guides obtain boating licenses only available out of state (the closest facilities are in St. Louis or Toledo, according to Cravaack’s office). Cravaack’s bill gives permitting and inspection power back to the state of Minnesota.

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Both bills passed on unanimous voice votes. They head to President Obama to be signed into law.

Devin Henry can be reached at