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Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak in strong support of H.R. 2200,
the Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act, as this is a necessary piece of legislation that is long overdue. In fact, we have never fully authorized the TSA since the enactment of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001.

I want to particularly thank Mr. Thompson, who chaired this and led this legislation through committee; along with PETER KING, the ranking member; Ms. Jackson-Lee as the subcommittee chairwoman; and Mr. Dent from Pennsylvania. I want to congratulate all of them for working hard to have a bipartisan piece of legislation.

We recognize that the safety of the American people must be our number one job. Nothing that we do here can supercede that.

The bill authorizes $7.6 billion in fiscal year 2010 and $8.1 billion in fiscal 2011 for the activities of the TSA, including key increases, many of which have already been mentioned.

As an original member of the Homeland Security Committee, one thing I observed was that ever since TSA was created in 2001, its focus has been almost solely on aviation security, to the detriment of surface transportation taken by millions of Americans each day.

A strong aspect of this legislation is beginning to put surface transportation security on an equal footing with aviation security, with key surface transportation security enhancements.

I'm glad to see that this authorization also addresses the long unattended issue of airport perimeter security, whose vulnerability to infiltration I have tried to highlight for many years. I think that this is important. We're looking at it. We're studying this issue so we do not overreact but make sure that the perimeters are just as much protected as the inside.

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