House Passes TSA Reforms: Legislation to Improve Long-Term Purchasing, Stakeholder Participation & Donate Loose Change to USO
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to reform the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) technology acquisition process, direct unclaimed money left at security checkpoints to organizations such as the United Service Organization (USO) and improve private-sector engagement in TSA planning decisions.
The House unanimously passed H.R. 2719, the Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act, which was introduced by Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Transportation Security Subcommittee Chairman Richard Hudson (R-NC). The bill requires TSA to implement best practices and improve transparency with regard to technology acquisition programs.
The House also approved, by voice vote, H.R. 1095, the TSA Loose Change Act, which was introduced by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL). The legislation directs the TSA Administrator to transfer unclaimed money recovered at airport security checkpoints to nonprofit organizations that provide places of rest and recuperation at airports for members of the Armed Forces and their families.
Finally, the House passed, by a vote of 411-3, H.R. 1204, the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2013, which was introduced by Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (R-MS). The bill authorizes the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, which gives TSA leadership a private-sector sounding board for its initiatives.
Chairman McCaul: “H.R. 2719 holds TSA accountable for its spending decisions and increases transparency by requiring the agency to create a long term plan for technology purchases. This planning will give industry more certainty, improve TSA’s investments and better safeguard taxpayer dollars and U.S. travelers.
“After passing the Helping Heroes Fly Act, which was signed into law earlier this year, the Committee continues its work to improve travel for our brave soldiers. H.R. 1095 will ensure that TSA transfers passengers’ loose change to nonprofits such as the USO, instead of its own coffers, which already total $7 billion annually. The TSA Loose Change Act directs the money left at airport security checkpoints, which amounts to almost half a million dollars each year, toward supporting a comfortable place for our military service members and their families to relax at airports. While a dime here and there may seem miniscule, when totaled up, a little change can go a long way for our nation’s heroes.
“Finally, the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act ensures that private sector partners are consulted before big policy changes are made that affect millions of travelers. TSA’s policies can no longer be made in a vacuum, and H.R. 1204 will add much needed transparency to aviation security decisions.”
Subcommittee Chairman Hudson: “As Chairman of the Transportation Security Subcommittee, my goal is to hold TSA accountable while ensuring the safety of the American people and responsible stewardship of our tax dollars. The bipartisan passage of today’s bills demonstrate that Democrats and Republicans can work together for the common good, despite an unprecedented level of partisan gridlock in Washington.”
Watch Chairman McCaul Speak on the House Floor on H.R. 2719, H.R. 1095 and H.R. 1204: