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Public Statements

No-Hassle Flying Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 6028, the No-Hassle Flying Act of 2012, and yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, while I support the legislation we are considering today, I'm concerned that on this, the anniversary of the terrorist attack of September 11, we are not considering a bipartisan package of legislation.

On this day, 11 years ago, our country was attacked and came together like never before to face the immense challenges of rebuilding and restructuring our security systems. With the creation of the 9/11 Commission, the Transportation Security Administration and, ultimately, the Department of Homeland Security, we demonstrated that homeland security is an American issue, not a partisan one.

Why then, I must ask, are we not considering a bipartisan package of legislative proposals that have previously received the unanimous support of the Committee on Homeland Security?

Why is this bill, which never received committee consideration, being put on the House floor ahead of H.R. 1165, the Transportation Security Administration Ombudsman Act? That bill, introduced by Representative Jackson Lee, received the unanimous support of the Committee on Homeland Security. Despite that, it has sat idle on the Union Calendar for over 10 months.

Why are we not considering H.R. 6328, a thoughtful proposal introduced by Representative Hochul that would require TSA to transfer unclaimed clothing found at security checkpoints to veterans in need? With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that were fought in the aftermath of 9/11 over and coming to an end, respectively, I could think of no more appropriate legislation for this body to consider today than a bill aimed at supporting our veterans.

Mr. Speaker, I support the bill we are considering today because it is a commonsense proposal that will make air travel more convenient for a select few and has the potential to enhance efficiencies. When we can eliminate duplicative screening without compromising security, I will lend my support.

Accordingly, I support this legislation that the Obama administration proposed and the gentleman from Illinois, Representative Walsh introduced.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, on this day above all others, we turn our thoughts to those who were lost in the tragic events of 9/11. It is unfortunate that the House has missed the opportunity today to consider noncontroversial Homeland Security legislation introduced by both Democrats and Republicans, thus showing that on 9/11 we put partisan politics aside and focused on doing the right thing.

Before closing, I would like to extend my congratulations to the gentleman from Illinois, Representative Walsh, for having bills on the floor for consideration for the first time today. I suspect that he is as surprised as I am that one of his first bills to reach the floor was proposed to Congress by the Obama administration.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I urge the passage of this proposal from the Obama administration, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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