Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:  Scott Garrett
Date: June 7, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GARRETT. I thank the gentleman. I'll be brief.

If you've ever travelled in an airport for the last 10 years, you're familiar with the TSAs and their invasive conduct in certain circumstances, whether it's the full body scans or the pat downs, what have you. One thing that most Americans thought is that, if you didn't want to go through that, you could still always travel simply by driving your own car, driving your own truck, and not have to go through such an examination. That is not the case anymore.

The TSA is not just for airports anymore, as the gentlelady has explained. They now go beyond the airports. They go onto the Nation's highways and they go onto the rest stops and they go onto the truck stops and the rest. And they are doing so in a manner that is not from the original intent of the Homeland Security bill that created the TSAs. They are going out there where no identifiable public security threat has been posed and they're doing so in the most absurd manner.

Down in Savannah, Georgia, they went last year and they checked on the Amtrak trains. That sounds like a good idea. But you know when they did it? They did it when the people were getting off of the train as opposed to getting onto the train.

They went over to Texas a little while ago, in Brownsville, Texas, and they checked the cars there, private cars--your car, my car, trucks and what have you. And they did it over at a port, not when the people are going into the port when there might be a risk or a threat to the port; they did it when cars were leaving the port. And again, there was no identifiable risk or threat posed at that period of time.

There is support for the TSA in general, but let's focus it back at the airport again and let Americans know that you can still travel in this country, you can get in your own car and not be worried that there is going to be a TSA agent out there with no conceivable threat whatsoever and engaging in basically what really is security theater.

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