Blackburn Demands Full Screening of TSA Hiring Practices

Press Release

By:  Marsha Blackburn
Date: June 4, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) today released her report, "Not on my Watch": 50 Failures of TSA's Transportation Security Officers, detailing incidents that demonstrate the urgent need to improve our nation's airport screening operations.

Blackburn's report details 50 arrests involving employees of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) between 2005-present. This report does not detail every arrest that has been made during this time frame. Instead, it showcases the alarming number and types of serious crimes being committed by TSA employees against the traveling public they are sworn to protect. If the TSA was consistently providing criminal and credit background checks on current and potential employees as they claim, many of these individuals would have had their applications flagged as applicants.

"TSA needs to immediately remove themselves from the human resource business. This report details highly disturbing cases where pedophiles and child pornographers wearing federal law enforcement uniforms are not only patting down unsuspecting travelers, but in many cases stealing valuables from their bags. Enough is enough. It's time for Congress to step in and demand accountability from Administrator Pistole.

"This report serves as a prime example as to why serious changes need to be made in the way TSA operates, specifically in their hiring practices of Transportation Security Officers. I believe that many of these problems stem from the fact that TSA does not consistently conduct criminal and credit background checks on new and existing employees. TSOs take the same oath as Members of Congress and the President of the United States and as such they should be held to the highest of standards."

Congressman Blackburn is the sponsor of H.R. 3608, the Stop TSA's Reach In Policy (STRIP) Act, which would prohibit any TSA employee not trained as a federal law enforcement officer or eligible for federal law enforcement benefits from wearing law enforcement uniforms or wearing a police-like metal badge.

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