CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, December 19, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1801, the Risk-Based Security Screening for Members of the Armed Forces Act, under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. H.R. 1801 was introduced by Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) on May 10, 2011, and was approved in the House on November 29, 2011 by a vote of 404-0. The bill was approved with an amendment in the Senate on December 12, 2011 by voice vote.
H.R. 1801 would require the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), to implement expedited screening processes at certain airports for uniformed members of the armed forces and accompanying family members. The bill would specify factors for the Assistant Secretary to consider in designing such processes and would require TSA to report to the Congress on their implementation.
According to the committee report, H. Rept. 112-271, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses the same screening procedures for all passengers at airport checkpoints. Although TSA has plans to move to a more risk-based method of screening passengers at airport checkpoints in the future, this legislation directs the Transportation Security Administration to screen members of the Armed Forces in uniform on an expedited basis and in a manner that makes sense for the men and women serving our country at home and on the battlefield. The legislation does not contradict existing TSA policy and complements the plans TSA has for risk-based screening protocols.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that fully funding H.R. 1801 would cost less than $500,000 annually, assuming the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting H.R. 1801 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.