PITTSBURGH A Senate bill has been reintroduced that aims to curb scrap metals theft, but a federal bill tracking system indicates the legislation has little chance of passing.
The Metal Theft Prevention Act, introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), would limit cash payments to customers at $100, require sellers to provide proof of ownership and make it a federal offense to steal metal from infrastructure. Other primary sponsors are Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), Sen. John Hoeven (R., N.D.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.).
Whether the legislation has any chance of surviving remains to be seen, but the prospects appear grim, according to GovTrack.us, a legislative tracking tool and data source operated by Civic Impulse LLC, Washington.
The tracking system, which is not affiliated with the government, estimates the bill has a 13-percent chance of getting out of committee and just a 2-percent chance of being enacted. Previous attempts to advance the measure have failed, including an attempt in November that died after the bill failed to make it out of the Judiciary Committee. Schumers 2009 attempt to push through the legislation suffered a similar fate (amm.com, Dec. 10, 2009).
The Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries has said the legislation would create redundancy and confusion (amm.com, Nov. 28).