House Passes Legislation on Transportation Security

Bipartisan legislation to bolster security at airports and provide oversight of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Office of Inspection was unanimously passed by the House Tuesday.

The House passed the Airport Security Enhancement Act of 2014 (HR 4802), which improves intergovernmental planning for and communication during security incidents at domestic airports.

Also passed by the House is the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2014 (HR 4803), which requires TSA to conform to existing federal law and regulations regarding criminal investigator positions.

“The House passed commonsense, bipartisan legislation to strengthen airport security [and] save taxpayer dollars through reforms to TSA employee management,” said House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

“The Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act of 2014 builds on important lessons the committee gleaned from multiple hearings on the tragic shooting at Los Angeles International Airport last November, which took the life of TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez and wounded three others,” McCaul said. “The bill supports the airport community’s best practices to better prepare for and respond to active shooter scenarios. The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General has also found that TSA’s misclassification of some employees is wasting taxpayers’ dollars and the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act ensures employee workload matches position and pay within the Office of Inspection.

Referring to HR 4802, Subcommittee on Transportation Security Chairman Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) said, “With threats to our nation’s transportation systems constantly evolving, we must work to ensure the airport community is prepared to respond effectively and efficiently to protect the traveling public. This bill will provide more extensive collaboration and coordination between all transportation security stakeholders and create safer airports across the country. Given the partisan gridlock in Washington, I am proud of the bipartisan support this common-sense legislation received in the House, and I hope it will be swiftly brought to the Senate floor. I will continue to work to ensure our airports and TSA have the tools needed to keep our travelers safe.”

“I’m encouraged that the House passed what I think will be a small, but commonsense step in the larger battle toward reining in government spending,” said subcommittee member Rep. Mark Sanford (SC) about the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2014. “Even though there are federal standards in place that lay out how employees qualify for higher wages, the Transportation Security Administration pays some of their employees more for jobs they’re not doing. That wouldn’t make sense anywhere outside of government and our bill would help fix that problem by clarifying those employees’ responsibilities.”

 

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