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March 17, 2011

Thompson TWIC Legislation Addresses Upcoming Mandatory Renewal

(WASHINGTON) – Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, has announced the introduction of H.R. 1105, the Transitioning With an Improved Credential (TWIC) Program Act. This legislation aims to address the upcoming renewal deadlines of TWIC. The TWIC program was created to protect the Nation's maritime transportation facilities and vessels by requiring maritime workers and other workers who need unescorted access to secure port facilities to obtain a biometric identification card.

After initial delays, all maritime workers were required to obtain biometric TWICs by April 2009. To date, over 1.8 million longshoremen, truckers, merchant mariners, and rail and vessel crew members have undergone extensive homeland security and criminal background checks to secure TWICs. Unfortunately, the full promise of a biometric access security system has not been realized, as DHS has made little progress in establishing nationwide standards for the TWIC readers. However, current TWICs will begin to expire in 2012.

Congressman Thompson released the following statement regarding the legislation:

"Hard working transportation workers shouldn't have to go through the time and expense of renewing their TWICs if DHS doesn't even have a finalized plan for deployment of the readers. My bill will address this unique problem by delaying the necessary renewal of these expensive cards until DHS issues the final reader rule or December 31, 2014, whichever is earlier. I look forward to working with DHS to ensure that the TWIC readers are deployed as soon as possible."


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