Representative Perry Calls for TSA Accountability
Introduces Legislation in Response to Breach at JFK
WASHINGTON – In response to the security breaches at John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport in New York late last month, Representative Scott Perry (R-PA) will introduce legislation to institute accountability and oversight for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). “Keeping Americans safe on U.S. soil, especially at our airports, has been one of my top priorities,” said Perry. “After continued mismanagement, we must hold our security officials accountable to the American public.”
Perry’s bill, the “Strengthening Oversight of TSA Employee Misconduct Act,” will ensure consistency and accountability throughout the agency by requiring a senior official to oversee the review of disciplinary actions given in response to misconduct by TSA agents and supervisors. The reviews will be administered at random to ensure quality control. Under the current system, disciplinary actions against errant employees may vary wildly depending on the local supervisor, allowing for gross misconduct to be overlooked.
Additionally, the bill requires TSA to review spot inspection results to identify root causes of systemic employee misconduct and take actions to correct those problems so that good employees may focus on the mission and bad employees are removed.
“This is a common sense proposal that puts ineffective bureaucracy in check and helps keep Americans safe,” Perry continued.
“I applaud Congressman Perry for introducing a bill to strengthen oversight and accountability of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as a continuation of his previous work leading a joint TSA misconduct investigation with our Transportation and Protective Services Subcommittee. Airports face constant threats from bad actors and are a top target for terrorists wishing our nation harm. This bill will hold TSA—and its employees—accountable and better protect our aviation hubs and our homeland,” said Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
In February 2017, the TSA allowed roughly 13 people to pass through an unguarded security checkpoint at New York’s JFK airport. In addition, the TSA failed to contact local police to address the situation, instead attempting to cover up the breach quietly.
The bill will go to the House Homeland Security Committee for further consideration.