House Passes Rep. Rice’s Bill to Improve Maintenance of Airport Screening Technology
Bipartisan legislation follows IG report that found that TSA’s lack of maintenance procedures creates security risks; Second bill authored by Rice to pass the House this year
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives tonight passed H.R. 2770, legislation authored by Representative Kathleen Rice, Ranking Member on the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Subcommittee. H.R. 2770, the Keeping Our Travelers Safe and Secure Act, requires the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to develop and implement a comprehensive preventive maintenance process for airport screening equipment. The process must include specific maintenance schedules, guidance for TSA personnel and contractors on how to conduct and document maintenance actions, mechanisms to insure compliance, and penalties for noncompliance.
Rep. Rice’s legislation came in response to a recent report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), which found that TSA “is not properly managing the maintenance of its airport screening equipment.” The OIG report noted that the lack of strict maintenance policies and procedures threatens to reduce equipment life, and that if equipment were to become less than fully operational, TSA would be forced to rely on other screening measures that “may be less effective at detecting dangerous items.” H.R. 2770’s original cosponsors include Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security; Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Chairman of the Transportation Security Subcommittee; and Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ). The bill was also cosponsored by Reps. William Keating (D-MA), Peter King (R-NY), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Daniel Donovan (R-NY), and Brian Higgins (D-NY).
“The threats against our aviation sector are too severe to allow for any level of complacency when it comes to maintaining the screening equipment we rely on to keep passengers safe,” said Representative Kathleen Rice. “The Inspector General’s report made it clear that TSA’s lack of clear maintenance procedures creates serious risks for passengers, and this bipartisan bill will eliminate those risks by ensuring airport screening equipment is properly maintained and kept fully operational. I’m grateful to my colleagues in the House for giving this bill the bipartisan support it deserves, and I urge our colleagues in the Senate to do the same.”
H.R. 2770 is the second bill authored by Rep. Rice to pass in the House this year. Rep. Rice’s first bill, H.R. 1382, the Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment Act, passed on May 18, 2015.
The full text of H.R. 2770, the Keeping Our Travelers Safe and Secure Act, is available here.