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July 11, 2016

Thompson Statement Opposing FAA Extension

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement opposing the FAA extension:

“While I commend the leadership of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for negotiating language to enhance aviation safety, I oppose this FAA extension because of the potential-job-killing provision inserted in the homeland security portion of the package. Understandably, after the airport attacks in Brussels and Istanbul, there is interest in strengthening aviation security.”

“Section 3405 of this bill directs TSA to update regulations for eligibility for SIDA airport credentials, which airport worker need to perform their jobs. There is no evidence that this additional scrutiny would strengthen aviation security. What we do know, for sure, is that the changes, including expanding the look back period to 15 years, would unjustifiably put workers at risk of losing their jobs.”

“Earlier this Congress, the Committee on Homeland Security worked with stakeholders on legislation – H.R. 3102 – that passed the House that directed TSA to review the adequacy of existing look back period and disqualifying offenses for the SIDA credential program.  The language before us today goes several steps further than H.R. 3102, unjustifiably lengthening the look back period, absent any evidence that doing so is necessary to address the threat of terrorism.”

“The men and women that will be subject to arbitrary changes in the SIDA program have as strong of an interest as any of us in preventing terrorism. They deserve better than living in fear that they will be lose their job in the name of homeland security.”

Ranking Member Thompson’s Full Prepared Floor Statement

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