Senate amendment to H.R. 720, Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act of 2015

H.R. 720

Senate amendment to Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act of 2015

Sponsor
Rep. John Katko

Date
September 16, 2015 (114th Congress, th Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, the House will consider the Senate amendment to H.R. 720, the Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act of 2015, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 720, which was introduced by Rep. John Katko (R-NY), passed the House by a vote of 411 to 1 on February 10, 2015.  The Senate passed the bill, with an amendment, on August 5, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 720, as amended, is designed to “improve security incident preparedness by directing the TSA to verify that airports across the United States have incorporated procedures for responding to active shooters targeting security checkpoints into their existing incident plans.”[1]

Specifically, the bill requires TSA to:[2]

  • report to the appropriate congressional committees the TSA Administrator’s findings regarding the levels of preparedness at airports;
  • establish a mechanism by which best practices in security incident mitigation can be shared with airports across the country;
  • certify to the appropriate congressional committees that all screening personnel have participated in training for active shooter scenarios;
  • provide an analysis to the appropriate congressional committees on how cost savings can be used to increase funding for reimbursable agreements for airport law enforcement over the next five years;
  • verify that high threat surface transportation hubs, as identified by the TSA Administrator, have similar active shooter training programs; and,
  • conduct a review of the interoperable communications capabilities of the law enforcement, fire, and medical personnel responsible for responding to a security incident at airports in the United States.

Click here for the Legislative Digest on the House-passed version of the bill.

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[1] Senate Report 114-92 at 2.
[2] Id.

Background

On November 1, 2013, a gunman entered a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and began a shooting rampage, which left Transportation Security Officer (TSO) Gerardo Hernandez dead and three other individuals wounded.  Hernandez was the first TSA Officer in its history to have been killed in the line of duty.[2]  “While the response by law enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel, and emergency responders was heroic and impressive, after-action reports conducted on the incident showed gaps in communications and coordination procedures.”[3]  H.R. 720 is designed to resolve these gaps by improving intergovernmental planning and communication in the event of such a security incident.

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[2] See CNN report—“FBI: 23-year-old L.A. man is suspect in airport shooting that kills TSA officer,” November 1, 2013.
[3] Senate Report 114-92 at 1.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 720 would cost $2.5 million in 2016, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.  H.R. 720 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

Additional Information

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