|Sponsor||Rep. Clarke, Yvette D.|
|Date||February 3, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)|
|Staff Contact||Adam Hepburn|
H.R. 559 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY) on January 15, 2009.
H.R. 559 authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish an appeals and redress process for individuals who claim to have been misidentified when screened against any terrorist watchlist or database utilized by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or the Department. The Secretary will also establish an Office of Appeals and Redress to implement and execute this process.
This bill requires the Office of Appeals and Redress to maintain a list of individuals who were misidentified against any terrorist watchlist or database, to be known as the Comprehensive Cleared List. Furthermore, the Secretary is required to transmit this list to the TSA or any other appropriate agency or air carrier that uses a terrorist watchlist or database. The Office of Appeals and Redress must provide written information and guidance to air carrier passengers to begin the appeal and redress process at every airport which has a DHS presence.
H.R. 559 finally directs the Secretary to engage in necessary agreements with appropriate federal agencies to ensure that legal name changes are reflected in the terrorist watchlist and the list of "cleared" travelers.
This legislation is identical to another bill (H.R. 4179) which passed the House by voice vote on June 18, 2008. The Senate never acted on that bill.
DHS currently operates the Traveler Redress Inquiry Program ("DHS TRIP"). DHS TRIP is the central point for redress inquiries involving Department watchlists. Travelers interface with DHS TRIP when they encounter misidentification issues, screening problems, and situations where travelers believe they have been unfairly or incorrectly delayed.
DHS TRIP places "cleared" individuals on the Transportation Security Administration's cleared list. However, this list is not currently shared between agencies, or other partners such as air carriers and State and local governments.
There is no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score available for this bill. However, last year CBO predicted that similar legislation would cost $3 million in 2009, and about $500,000 annually thereafter, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.