Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) said reports of the latest TSA security meltdown -- 44 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees at Newark Liberty International Airport to be fired or suspended for checked baggage screening failures -- sounds like a broken record. Mica released the following statement:
"The unfortunate parade of TSA failures quietly announced at the very end of the week continues. Earlier this month, we learned that nearly 50 TSA employees were fired, suspended, or otherwise left their jobs for failing to properly screen checked baggage at Honolulu International Airport. Although TSA claimed that the security lapse was limited to that one airport, the DHS Inspector General reported strong concerns that system-wide shortcomings in TSA procedures, standards, training and oversight likely contributed to the security failure in Hawaii.
"Now it appears another 44 TSA employees are being disciplined at Newark International Airport, reportedly for failing to follow standard operation procedures for screening checked baggage. Combined with eight Newark TSA employees fired for theft earlier this year as part of the same investigation, this marks the largest disciplinary action -- against 52 TSA workers -- at a single airport.
"Clearly this is not a Newark problem or a Honolulu problem, or a problem isolated to one or two airports.
"I lay the blame at TSA because it's a bureaucracy that doesn't know how to manage an army of 65,000 employees.
"When are we going to learn that the problem is that this massive, bloated bureaucracy is in need of dramatic reform? Every new security lapse, each one worse than the previous, demonstrates more that this agency is in disarray, and we must transform the TSA from a vast and unsuccessful human resources operation into a true security agency."