Schumer Demands TSA Keep Security Procedures
A day after a report showing the Transportation and Security Administration is considering a proposal to allow thousands of passengers a day to board commercial flights across smaller and mid-sized American airports, without any TSA screening process in place, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, D-New York, is demanding the agency make an immediate and firm commitment to maintaining full TSA security screenings of passengers at all airports.
Schumer cited security risks and lessons learned from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as he pushed the agency charged with keeping airports safe. Schumer said instead of considering proposals to stop or rollback the security screening of passengers TSA should be doing everything within their power to bolster security across all of our nation’s airports.
“TSA documents proposing to scrap critical passenger security screenings, without so much as a metal detector in place in some airports, would effectively clear the runway for potential terror attacks,” Schumer said. “It simply boggles the mind to even think that the TSA has plans like this on paper in the first place. The argument that they are looking at cost-cutting ideas doesn’t fly with me and won’t fly with the majority in Congress or the American public. Doing away with the critical safety policies and procedures we smartly installed after 9/11 would allow evil-doers or terrorists to slip through our nation’s airports like a hot knife through butter — a scary premise. So, the TSA must firmly and immediately come out and vociferously reject any and all bureaucratic proposals to reduce, rollback or eliminate critical aviation security measures, like passenger screenings, and they need to do it fast.”
Schumer further cautioned that the President’s own Chief of Staff, John Kelly, warned in June 2017, as Department of Homeland Security Secretary, that he “…was concerned that we are seeing renewed interest on the part of terrorist groups to go after the aviation sector — from bombing aircraft to attacking airports on the ground.” Kelly even called aviation the ‘crown jewel target’ of potential terrorists.
Before Sept. 11, 2001, airport screening was predominately carried out across U.S. airports using private companies contracted by airlines or airports. However, after 9/11, the TSA took charge of airport security.
“The reason we have the TSA doing these screenings in the first place is a direct result of the lessons learned form 9/11,” Schumer said.
While Schumer remains hopeful that the TSA will toss any and all plans to scrap security screening at certain airports, he said proposals to enact changes to homeland security policies demands input from Congress.