House Passes Homeland Security Bills to Streamline TSA Baggage Screening and Improve DHS Financial Systems

Dec 12, 2012 Issues: Passenger and Cargo Aviation Security, Oversight of DHS Management

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation to improve the efficiency of baggage screening at U.S. airports and to ensure the effectiveness of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) financial systems.  S. 3542 and S. 1998, which are both within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Homeland Security, chaired by Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), have earned bipartisan support.

Chairman King said: “I am pleased that the House has passed these bills to further improve the efficiency of the Department of Homeland Security’s operations.  These bills will save taxpayer dollars by streamlining TSA’s baggage screening procedures and by ensuring the effectiveness of DHS’s financial systems.  I urge the President to sign these bills into law.”

S. 3542, the “No-Hassle Flying Act of 2012,” introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), is a companion bill to H.R. 6028, introduced by Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), which passed the House in September by voice vote.  The legislation streamlines the aviation security process and saves taxpayer dollars by giving TSA the discretion to determine, on a location-by-location basis, if re-screening of checked baggage is necessary upon arrival in the U.S. from a preclearance foreign airport and prior to boarding a connecting domestic flight.  Currently, the practice of re-screening checked baggage arriving from preclearance airports causes many passengers to miss connecting domestic flights.  S. 3542 amends the previously passed H.R. 6028 to allow TSA additional flexibility in implementing this risk-based security initiative.

S. 3542 passed the House by voice vote.

S. 1998, the “Department of Homeland Security Improved Financial Accountability Act of 2011,” introduced by Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), requires DHS to prepare for and submit to an outside audit of its financial systems.  In addition, the legislation directs DHS to establish, and submit to Congress, a plan for modernizing these systems.

S. 1998 passed the House by voice vote.

S. 3542 and S. 1998 will be presented to the President for his signature.

For more information on the legislation passed today, visit the Committee on Homeland Security website.