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House subcommittee approves three transportation security bills

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)

The House Homeland Security’s transportation subcommittee on May 12 approved legislation aimed at streamlining the security paperwork of transportation industry workers, expediting security screening for military personnel and establishing an official assistant for TSA workplace issues.

The bills, H.R. 1690, H.R. 1801 and H.R. 1165 will streamline and expedite security screening processes for truckers and military personnel, as well as establish a workplace ombudsman for Transportation Security Administration employees, according to Transportation Security Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL).

The bills now go to the full Homeland Security Committee for consideration.

H.R. 1690, or the “Modernizing of Documentation and Elimination of Redundant Identification and Security Credentials Act” (The MODERN Security Credentials Act), eliminates redundancies in the transportation security credentialing process administered by the TSA, said Rogers. 

The measure would reduce costs for some commercial motor vehicle operators by streamlining the credentialing process so that they will no longer be required to undergo multiple, duplicative threat assessments and by eliminating redundancies and overlap between the federal credentialing process and those at the state and local levels, he said. “This bill would reduce costs for hard-working folks in the transportation industry,” he said in remarks during a subcommittee May 12 mark-up session. The bill also establishes a task force of industry, labor and government stakeholders to provide recommendations for further modernizing the threat assessment process, he said.

The subcommittee also approved H.R. 1801, the “Risk-Based Security Screening for Members of the Armed Forces Act,” which would expedite airport security screenings for members of the U.S. military and their accompanying family members. The bill was introduced by Subcommittee Member Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) and co-sponsored by Rogers.

The subcommittee also passed H.R. 1165, The “Transportation Security Administration Ombudsman Act of 2011,” which officially establishes an Ombudsman Office within the TSA to provide help for TSA employees in addressing workplace-related issues. The bill was introduced by Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).


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