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Mr. KING of New York. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise in support of S. 3542, the No-Hassle Flying Act of 2012.
At the outset, let me commend the gentleman from Illinois, Congressman Walsh, for introducing the House companion to this important measure. H.R. 6028 passed the House in September by voice vote.
Madam Speaker, this bill gives TSA the discretion to determine if checked luggage arriving from a foreign airport with an aviation security preclearance agreement must be rescreened before it continues on to a connecting flight inside the U.S. The bill explicitly defines such an agreement as one that delineates and implements security standards and protocols that are determined by TSA, in coordination with CBP, to be comparable to those of the U.S. and therefore sufficiently effective to enable passengers to deplane into sterile areas of airports in the United States.
This bill does not diminish aviation security but, rather, streamlines the security process and allows TSA to expend resources on baggage that has not already been screened to U.S. security standards. It also supports TSA's ongoing efforts to implement risk-based, intelligence-driven security initiatives.
TSA Administrator Pistole requested the new authority provided in this bill in order to go beyond our borders in establishing robust security measures and improving efficiency. I commend Administrator Pistole for his leadership and efforts to improve aviation security.
In addition to streamlining security, this bill will incentivize our foreign partners to improve the technology that they use to screen checked baggage, which ultimately should increase the level of security of inbound flights to the United States. The legislation will reduce the number of missed connections and other hassles with redundant baggage screening that can become barriers to international travel and tourism. It's a win-win for passengers, the airline industry, and TSA by shortening the time necessary for transit and transfer.
I urge the adoption of this bipartisan and commonsense bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.
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