Anyone across East Alabama who has taken a flight during the past few years knows what a long and frustrating event the passenger screening process can be as folks make their way with their belongings to their gate of departure.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) was created to help prevent any further attacks and strengthen the security of our aviation system. Unfortunately, TSA has become one of the most dysfunctional and despised agencies in the Federal government.
I wasn’t in Congress when TSA was created, but as a current member of the Committee on Homeland Security and former chairman of the Transportation Security subcommittee, I have been and remain an outspoken critic of the TSA.
Jokingly, some folks say TSA stands for “Thousands Standing Around,” and we are all familiar with their famous mishaps like treating a 95-year-old cancer patient like a terrorist. But now, more troubling, we learn that TSA failed 67 out of 70 government tests to detect weapons or fake explosives.
I think TSA is a failure because it is a bloated bureaucracy that wastes millions of taxpayer dollars while trampling on the privacy of innocent Americans.
This week, I was part of the Homeland Security Transportation Security Subcommittee Hearing titled, “How TSA Can Improve Aviation Worker Vetting.”
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the vetting of TSA workers after it came to light that over 70 aviation workers across the country had some sort of ties to terrorism. Again, it is unfathomable to me that this is even happening.
We cannot take risks when it comes to the safety of our traveling public and our homeland. TSA, as it is structured, is a massive failure that can’t even get its most basic task done right. It is time to clean house at TSA and reinvent it as a smarter, leaner organization that incorporates private sector ingenuity.
As always, I want to hear from you on this or any issue.
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Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District. He is in his third term.