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Friday, February 3, 2023

Act Introduced to Reduce Security Threat Assessment ‘Red Tape’ for Transportation Workers

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Deb Fischer, R-Neb., ranking member of the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight, and Ports, have introduced the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act. The legislation is intended to help reduce the burden on workers applying for two or more of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), hazardous materials endorsement (HME), or TSA PreCheck programs by standardizing the enrollment and renewal systems administered by TSA.

“Time and again, freight transportation workers have risen to the occasion and delivered critical products across the country,” Wicker said. “Workers who need multiple TSA credentials face burdensome enrollment requirements and fees. I am glad to introduce legislation to reduce the bureaucratic barriers for workers who need these credentials to keep goods moving.”  

“This common-sense legislation would streamline the TSA’s certification process for transportation workers who need approval from credentialing programs to do their jobs. By cutting down on duplicative red tape, the bill will also save truckers time and money when obtaining licenses. Importantly, these process improvements would all be made without impacting security concerns,” Fischer said.   

Current TSA policies often require separate applications for TWIC, HME, and PreCheck programs, even though TSA conducts a Security Threat Assessment (STA) for each program. Requiring applicants who have already enrolled and paid for a TWIC, HME, or PreCheck credential to do so again for another credential represents an extra cost and duplicative burden because the applicant will have already gone through an STA. The Senators’ legislation would allow applicants for two or more of these credentials to enroll at a TSA enrollment center once and use the standardized application to enroll in any or all three of these credentials. Standardizing the enrollment process will reduce the time these workers spend applying for the credentials and remove duplicative fees.

The bill has been endorsed by the American Trucking Associations, the Teamsters, National Propane Gas Association, the Transportation Trades Department, the Border Trade Alliance, the National Tank Truck Carriers, Mississippi Trucking Association, the Association of the American Railroads, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and the National Energy and Fuels Institute.

Read the full text of the bill at the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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