Legislative Activity

Lawmakers Approve Reallocated Funds for TSA

House appropriators followed on their Senate colleagues and approved reallocated funds for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to address growing screening lines over the summer. Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, indicated that agency heads have already cautioned that they may request more flexibility once they have gone through the $34 million in reallocated funding.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson pledged that his agency would not compromise aviation security to shrink TSA lines. Speaking to reporters on Friday, Secretary Johnson outlined a 10-point plan aimed at averting even longer waits than have already plagued US airports, including hiring more TSA officers and paying additional overtime, using airline workers to handle certain non-security functions at checkpoints, and deploying increased canine teams. New York and Atlanta airport officials have already expressed frustration with the increasingly long wait times, threatening to hire private security contractors to take over for TSA as summer travel continues to ramp up.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, May 17: The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency will hold a hearing titled “Oversight of Federal Efforts to Address Electromagnetic Risks.”
  • Tuesday, May 17: The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security will hold a hearing titled “Flying Blind: What are the Security Risks of Resuming US Commercial Air Service to Cuba?”
  • Wednesday, May 18: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled “Assessing the Security of Critical Infrastructure: Threat, Vulnerabilities, and Solutions.”
  • Wednesday, May 18: The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism will hold a hearing titled “Ransomware: Understanding the Threat and Exploring Solutions.”
  • Thursday, May 19: The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet to consider pending legislation.
  • Thursday, May 19: The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled “Declining Deportations and Increasing Criminal Alien Releases – The Lawless Immigration Policies of the Obama Administration.”