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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. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of S. 3542, the No-Hassle Flying Act of 2012. I support this legislation because it represents a commonsense proposal to make air travel more convenient and has the potential to enhance efficiencies.

Currently, all baggage arriving at U.S. airports must be rescreened prior to being loaded on a connecting flight. This is true even for travelers arriving from designated preclearance airports where the passengers themselves do not need to be screened again because DHS has verified that screening at those airports is at least as effective as our own. This dynamic places an unnecessary burden on TSA screeners, the airlines, and the flying public who, on occasion, arrive at their final destination only to find that their baggage has not.

As I stated when we considered the House companion to S. 3542 in September, where we can eliminate duplicative screening without compromising security, I will lend my support.

I commend Senator Klobuchar for her work on this legislation and thank her for including important provisions I requested that require TSA to coordinate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection when determining what baggage must be rescreened in the United States.

Accordingly, I support this legislation that the Obama administration proposed, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Madam Speaker, I have no more speakers, and I am prepared to close.

There are areas where TSA needs to improve its performance. On that we can all agree. Just last week, GAO released a report detailing TSA's failure to properly oversee privatized screeners and revealing that some airports with their privatized screeners do not perform as well as their federalized counterparts.

I look forward to addressing those issues with my colleagues on the Committee on Homeland Security in the 113th Congress.

Today, we have an opportunity to support legislation supported by industry, the Obama administration, and TSA that has the potential to enhance the efficiency and cost effectiveness of screening baggage.

With that, Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support S. 3542 so it can be sent to the President for his signature and yield back the balance of my time.

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