February 17, 2017

Duckworth Reiterates Call For TSA Staffing Flexibility to Enhance Airport Security & Reduce TSA Delays


WASHINGTON, DC - This week, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) reiterated her call to enhance the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) workforce flexibility by removing the arbitrary cap on the number of full-time screeners TSA may employ to protect our national security and reduce excessive wait times for airline passengers. Duckworth stressed the importance of making sure appropriate authorities are in place now in advance of the upcoming travel season, especially in light of the absence of a nominee to be the next TSA Administrator. Video of Duckworth reiterating her call during her first hearing of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security is available here.

"As a Senator who proudly represents Illinois, home to Chicago O'Hare International Airport - one of the busiest airports in the world - I understand how critical aviation security is to our counterterrorism efforts, and to preventing long wait times for travelers," said Senator Duckworth. "To avoid the long lines travelers experienced last spring at O'Hare, TSA must have flexibility to hire, train and deploy screeners based on fluctuating travel volumes. TSA's counterterrorism mission is, and must always remain, the agency's highest priority. That is why Congress should remove the arbitrary annual cap on full-time TSA screeners. When it comes to protecting travelers, TSA's staffing decisions must be based on real world mission needs, not unjustified congressional mandates that make our entire nation less safe."

Last year, Senator Duckworth introduced the TSA Workforce Flexibility Act, which would have lifted the arbitrary and illogical statutory cap Congress places on the number of full-time Transportation Security Officers TSA can employ in a given year, to provide TSA with the workforce flexibility it needs to guarantee the agency can deploy personnel based on mission-needs related to evolving security threats during high-volume travel periods.