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Applicability of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act to the Transportation Security Administration

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. BROWN of Florida. Thank you, Chairman King and Ranking Member Thompson, for bringing this bill to the floor as we return from Memorial Day events with our constituents.

When the TSA was formed in the wake of 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in the history of the United States, Congress was attempting to consolidate many of the Nation's security duties that were spread out over all of the Departments. We were dedicated to the proposition that this event should never be repeated. Our response was quick that our civilian transportation system should never be used for attack ever again.

Out of the need for better airport security, the Transportation Security Administration was born. However, at the time, Republicans did not want to give the same rights to those Members of the Federal workforce as other Federal employees enjoy. One of those rights was USERRA, the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Under USERRA, individuals retain certain rights when that person needs to be absent from his or her civilian employment to serve in this country's uniformed services.

This bill would require the TSA to comply with USERRA when dealing with air transportation passengers and property screeners.

I support this legislation as a good first step toward giving the same rights available to all Federal employees.

And let me just take this moment to thank TSA for their hard work and dedication in keeping us safe. Sometimes I know it is inconvenient to the traveling public, but remember that they're there to protect us and they would not be there if 9/11 had not occurred. Thank you for your service.


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