H.R. 5065, Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act

H.R. 5065

Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act

Date
September 27, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On­­­­ Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 5065, the Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 5065 was introduced on April 26, 2016, by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by voice vote on September 13, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5065 directs the Department of Homeland Security to notify air carriers and TSA security screening that baby formula, breast milk, juice, and purified deionized water will be permitted under the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule Exception. Further, the legislation requires training procedures for security screening personnel to be updated.

Background

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) prohibits passengers from carrying on containers with liquids over 3.4 ounces. However, exceptions are made for medications and “infant and child nourishments”.

TSA’s current policy is, “Formula, breast milk and juice in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag. Separate formula, breast milk, and juice from other liquids, gels and aerosols limited to 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other accessories required to cool formula, breast milk and juice are allowed in carry-on. If these accessories are partially frozen or slushy, they are subject to the same screening described over. You may also bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred and processed baby food in carry-on baggage. These items may be subject to additional screening.”[1] H.R. 5065 codified these policies.

According to the bill’s sponsor, “Air travel can present unique challenges for parents, especially travelling with infants. While TSA already has guidelines in place allowing parents to take breastmilk, bottles, and feeding equipment through security and on-board the aircraft, there have been too many instances reported by parents where TSA officials did not know how to properly handle these items, which led to parents and families receiving harassment-like scrutiny.  Too often, these actions have led to missed flights, wasted milk, broken equipment, and other unnecessary and completely avoidable consequences. A family who is trying to follow TSA’s posted regulations shouldn’t have precious infant food thrown away and be forced to navigate travel delays. This is why I introduced the BABES Act, a commonsense measure to hold TSA accountable to uphold and follow its existing standards.  Through better training, TSA can make sure that families aren’t being penalized simply for traveling with equipment necessary to feed their infants.”[2]

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[1] See https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures/traveling-children
[2] See. Rep. Herrera Beutler’s Press Release, September 13, 2016.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates implementing H.R. 5065 would not affect the federal budget. Enacting the legislation would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.