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July 28, 2015

Bipartisan Legislation Passes House to Address TSA Expedited Screening Vulnerabilities

(WASHINGTON) – Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the House passage of his legislation, the Securing Expedited Screening Act (H.R. 2127). This bipartisan bill addresses serious security vulnerabilities in how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) carries out expedited airport checkpoint screening. These vulnerabilities were identified by both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General and the U.S. Comptroller General.

"I am pleased that the House passed this bipartisan legislation to close this security vulnerability in our aviation system. After recent reports, I do not have confidence that TSA's use of random or case-by-case methodology to identify passengers for expedited screening is keeping us secure. I look forward to engaging with TSA's new Administrator, Peter Neffenger, at tomorrow's full committee hearing on the need for TSA to close the security gaps in its expedited screening operations."

H.R. 2127 directs TSA to make expedited screening available only to individuals that are vetted participants in the PreCheck program and other known or vetted passengers. In addition to PreCheck participants, passengers enrolled in Global Entry or other Department of Homeland trusted traveler programs would get such screening as well as passengers in certain age groups, military servicemembers, and other in populations identified by TSA as known and low risk. The legislation would only allow TSA to provide expedited screening to passengers outside these groups if the methods used are validated in an independent assessment submitted to Congress. With an eye to maintaining the existing footprint for PreCheck lanes, the bill also requires TSA to maintain the availability of expedited screening at or above the current level.

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978