Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) issued the following release regarding bill H.R. 3038, The Airport Security Options Act, which he authored.
"The Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) decision earlier this year to put a blanket freeze on all airport applications for opting out of TSA screening is extremely troubling to me. That is why I introduced The Airport Security Options Act. My bill would allow airports to opt-out of TSA and move forward with hiring certified private security firms to conduct airport screening if they choose. At this point in time when we know terrorist elements are trying to subvert the nation's security apparatus, we ought to be encouraging airport security innovation, not discouraging it.
"In just the last week, I have witnessed firsthand two incidents which can only be described as invasive and unwarranted. In one instance, I saw a senior citizen receive a horribly degrading pat-down. In yet another instance, I saw a woman accosted by TSA when she requested the pat-down be conducted in private. We ought to look at ways to make traveling safe and less of a hassle than it has become for law-abiding citizens. Airports like Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, which has an enviable safety record, are proof that we don't have to forfeit liberty in the name of security.
"The controversy surrounding TSA's new screening procedures has led many airports to consider other security options. Unfortunately, the TSA-imposed freeze is preventing airports from doing what they believe is in the best interest of travelers. I also believe the security industry's best practices will be hurt as new methods for passenger screening are discouraged. Improving service and safety of travelers is paramount for airports. It is prudent for airports to periodically review their relationship with TSA."