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May 18, 2023

Ranking Member Thompson Introduces Legislation to Provide TSA Sustained Funding for Security and Pay Improvements

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, announced introduction of H.R. 3394, the Fund the TSA Act, legislation he authored to ensure the Transportation Security Administration has sustained funding to pay for security operations and pay improvements and address the agency's budget shortfalls. H.R. 3394 provides the funding necessary for recent improvements the Biden Administration and Congress have made to labor rights and pay for TSA’s workforce, including its 47,000 frontline Transportation Security Officers. The bill would also provide funding for vital airport law enforcement programs and the deployment of critical checkpoint screening technologies. To fund these efforts, the bill ends the current diversion of Passenger Security Fees from TSA, makes a modest increase to the fee, and indexes the fee to inflation.

“For two decades, TSA has been underfunded while its frontline workforce, which suffers from low pay, low morale, and high attrition, is among the lowest paid in the Federal government,” said Congressman Thompson. “My bill ensures that TSA has the proper funding, technologies, and staffing to keep our skies safe and sets the agency on a sustainable path for the future without yearly budget shortfalls. With the flying public returning to the skies and passenger volume surpassing pre-pandemic levels, we must make appropriate investments in TSA to ensure the continued security of our aviation system.”

The Fund the TSA Act key points:

  • Ends the diversion of portions of Passenger Security Fee collections from TSA to the general treasury.
  • Increases the Passenger Security Fee by $2 per one-way trip and indexes it to inflation.
  • Provides $1.14 billion in FY 2024 to fund pay increases and full collective bargaining and disciplinary appeal rights for frontline workers.
  • Provides $250 million for checkpoint security technologies such as CT scanning machines and $130 million for airport security programs providing law enforcement presence, explosive detection canine coverage, and exit lane security technologies.

Statements of endorsement:

Kevin M. Burke, President and CEO, Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA): “ACI-NA and its member airports are committed to ensuring that America’s aviation system remains safe, secure, and efficient for all users.  We applaud Ranking Member Thompson for putting forward this important legislation to support TSA’s fundamental responsibility to provide efficient security screening by maintaining a strong and vibrant workforce, deploying new technology, and assisting airport law enforcement.  For too long, billions of 9/11 Passenger Security Fee collections have been siphoned off to subsidize other federal spending programs.  With travel volumes on the rise, TSA needs adequate resources to hire the staffing and procure the technology necessary to screen passengers and their baggage effectively and efficiently.” 

Everett Kelley, National President, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE): “This bill takes the right approach to aviation security – ensuring the right people and technologies are in place to keep the traveling public safe. AFGE commends Ranking Member Thompson for his leadership on behalf of the TSA workforce in introducing this bill, which would guarantee the TSA workforce gets the right equipment and the appropriate resources to keep our skies safe.”

John Casaretti, President, Air Marshal Association (AMA): “The Air Marshal Association has long advocated for passenger security fees to be used solely for their intended purpose, passenger security. We are grateful to Ranking Member Thompson for introducing this important legislation.”

Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA): "You get what you pay for...unless it’s the government airline security fee that accompanies your ticket. That money is directed to all kinds of other congressional priorities while aviation security funding is stretched thin. Enough! We applaud Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS) for introducing the Fund the TSA Act to end diversion of the 9/11 security fee and ensure the agency and workforce is fully funded. September 11th changed aviation security forever and Congress established the 9/11 Security Fee to ensure aviation security would always be funded. We urge Congress to pass the Fund the TSA Act without delay."

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Media contact: Adam Comis at 202-225-9978