According to a CNN report, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is currently considering to apply several cost-saving measures in the near future. One of the ones consisted in eliminating screening at over 150 medium to small-sized airports across the U.S. Although the news caused for controversy when the first reports were released, it has been confirmed that it would not be the only strategy taken. Altogether, the TSA is planning to save over 300$ million by the end of the current administration.
Among the measures are projects to reduce full-time air marshals, the workforce at the TSA headquarters, reimbursements to airports for janitorial services and reimbursements to local law enforcement agencies for using personnel. The proposals will now have to be approved by Congress. These newly reported proposals could end up saving the TSA 150$ million, although many are questioning whether this cost could make up for overall national security.
However, the measure to eliminate screening is still the one that has caught most people’s attention. Applied in airports where flights are of sixty passengers or less, the proposal argues that passengers with connecting flights should only be screened at larger airports.
Lawmakers, unions, airports and national security experts have come forward to counter these measures, stating that applying them could endanger the lives of thousands of Americans. Most notable were the comments from New Jersey Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, who is currently focusing in transportation issues in the House Homeland Security Committee. She released a statement addressing the proposed cuts almost immediately after the CNN report was released. It read:
“[These measures] could put at risk the safety of passengers and the security of our transportation systems. The intelligence is very clear that the threat to our transportation systems remains real, so I am baffled by this administration’s endless efforts to cut funding in this area.”
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