Today, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN), a Member of the Committee, issued the following statements upon House passage of H.R. 1801, the "Risk-Based Security Screening for Members of the Armed Forces Act", introduced by Cravaack:
Chairman King said: "I strongly support Chip Cravaack's bill to provide expedited screening for members of the U.S. military. Not only would such screening make official travel easier for the men and women serving our country, it would be an important move toward a more risk-based approach to aviation security -- something I have long advocated. Expediting the screening of members of our military will enable TSA screeners to focus on more higher-risk travelers."
Cravaack said: "With all the contention and political gridlock we've witnessed over the past several months, what's most important is that we come together to agree where we can. In respect to our men and women in uniform and in the best interest of our national security, this bi-partisan initiative is the least we could do for our military personnel and their families traveling our nation's airports while serving our country. I urge the Senate to quickly take action."
Note: H.R. 1801 directs TSA to develop and implement a plan to provide expedited screening through our nation's airports for any member of the U.S. Armed Forces (and any accompanying family member), when that individual presents documentation indicating official orders while traveling in uniform.
The Committee on Homeland Security, which has sole jurisdiction over all TSA security matters, passed this bill on September 21, 2011 with bipartisan, unanimous support. Since its passage by the Committee, TSA has begun testing a military ID card reading pilot for U.S. Armed Services members at Monterrey Peninsula Airport in California.