The House of Representatives passed legislation last night similar to a bill introduced by Alaskan Congressman Don Young that will make it easier for Alaskan transportation workers to enroll, activate, or renew their Transportation Worker Identity Credential (TWIC) cards. Instead of having to make multiple costly trips to an enrollment center often times located hundreds of miles away, H.R. 3173 mandates that transportation workers -- including Alaska's roughly 10,100 port workers and mariners -- only have to make one visit to a TWIC enrollment center.
"The success of Alaska's economy is directly linked to the success of our ports," said Rep. Young. "Why then are we requiring our port workers to spend thousands of dollars just to pick up and activate their TWIC card when at the same time they can renew their passports through the mail? There's no need to require Alaska's roughly ten thousand port workers to make multiple trips to a TWIC enrollment center -- especially when most live hundreds of miles from the nearest enrollment center. I am hopeful that by reducing the regulatory red-tape and simplifying the process, this bipartisan legislation will save Alaska's port workers money."
Specifically, H.R. 3173 gives the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) 90 days after enactment to reform the TWIC program so that no more than one in-person visit is required for enrollment, activation, issuance, and renewal of a TWIC card.