Congressmen Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond today released the following statements after the U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced limited relief for eligible Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) holders to appear multiple times at a TWIC enrollment center for renewal. In some instances, the nearest enrollment center is hundreds of miles away from the applicant's job and home.
"I'm glad that the Coast Guard and the TSA have finally started to recognize the negative impact that their burdensome red-tape is having on the nearly 2 million American workers who have Transportation Worker Identification Credentials," Scalise said. ""While today's announcement is a step in the right direction, there's more work to be done in order to ensure that burdensome red-tape and regulations are eliminated from this program once and for all, and I'm proud to spearhead the bipartisan effort in Congress to do just that by authoring legislation to eliminate multiple in-person visits when applying for a TWIC renewal. We must keep working to finally eliminate the unnecessary TWIC second trip."
"I commend the TSA and USCG for finally making much needed changes to the TWIC program that will save millions of longshoremen, truckers, merchant mariners, rail workers and vessel crew members time and money," said Richmond. "While today marks a significant victory in our efforts to relieve the burden on workers, we must continue to fight for further reform."
Scalise and Richmond have both fought successfully to eliminate burdensome red-tape in the TWIC program.
Last year Scalise successfully passed an amendment to HR 2017 ordering that the Department of Homeland Security revamp the TWIC application process to eliminate the need for multiple in-person visits when renewing a TWIC. Scalise has introduced a bill, HR 3173, to do the same thing. The bill passed unanimously out of the Homeland Security Committee with broad bipartisan support. The bill now awaits consideration by the full House.
From his seat on the Committee on Homeland Security, Richmond has been a vocal advocate for TWIC reform, speaking on this issue during committee hearings. In October, Richmond successfully offered an amendment to H.R. 3116, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2012 to remove the second trip requirement for TWIC. In November, Richmond wrote to TSA Administrator Pistole urging him to extend the expiration of current TWICs.