Bill to expedite airport security for service members passes in House

None Tony Avelar/AP
Legislation to expedite airport security for military service members and their families has won unanimous House approval.

The Risk-Based Security Screening for Members of the Armed Forces Act gives the Transportation Security Administration six months to develop a new procedures for screening military passengers.

The House passed the legislation late Tuesday with 404 unopposed votes -- a rare point of agreement in a generally divided Congress.

"In respect to our men and women in uniform and in the best interest of our national security, this bipartisan initiative is the least we could do for our military personnel and their families traveling our nation's airports while serving our country," the bill's sponsor, Rep. Chip Cravaak, R-Minn., said in a statement.

Cravaak noted the measure would speed the process and also alleviate wait time for civilians not included in the preference plan.

TSA already provides some special accommodations for military personnel, allowing them to keep boots on if they contain no metal and to carry firearms if appropriate safety measures are taken.

The agency began a pilot program Nov. 15 to streamline security procedures for service members at the Monterey Regional Airport in California by using a card reader that identifies military personnel in good standing.

Both the new legislation and the pilot program have the support of the U.S. Travel Association.

"Our country trusts the men and women of the armed forces with the ultimate responsibility -- to protect and defend the United States," Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association president said in a statement supporting the bill. "Yet when flying for official duties or en route to put their lives on the line for this country, they are met with the same skepticism, scrutiny and inefficiencies that every person receives in our 'one-size-fits-all' aviation security process."

Cravaak has urged the Senate to act quickly in passing its own version of the legislation.

Both Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine., leaders of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, have expressed support for TSA's Trusted Traveler Program, which began in October and allows participants to go through a speedier security process in a dedicated lane.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.