Jun 15, 2012

Rand Pauls New Bills Hit the TSA Dead On

Two new bills drafted by Senator Rand Paul hit the TSA hard recently.  Many believe the pair of bills would essentially end the government agency by disabling the Transportation Security Administration's screening program and also establish a passenger bill of rights.

The first bill which would establish a passengers a bill of rights would turn over the government program to private screens and allow all airports, with the Department of Homeland Security's approval, to certain companies to do the work.

The additional second bill would allow passengers to bypass the TSA pat-downs and give them the option to be "re-screened".  This would allow passengers to call their lawyer when detained, let them object to any mistreatment or shady business, require all airports to distribute the new bill or rights, increase the role of explosive detecting dogs, and allow anyone under the age of 12 to bypass pat-downs.

In a statement, the Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said, "While aviation security is undoubtedly important, we must be diligent in protecting the rights of all Americans, such as their freedom from being subjected to humiliating and intrusive searches by TSA agents, especially when there is no obvious cause."  He also added, "It is important that the rules and boundaries of our airport screening process be transparent and easily available to travelers so that proper restraints are in place on screeners. Travelers should be empowered with the knowledge necessary to protect themselves from a violation of their rights and dignity."

The House Transportation Committee Chairman Representative John Mica, a Republican from Florida has also been on the forefront with Rand Paul as a major critic of the TSA.  Rep. Mica has felt privatization of the TSA's role would be a step in the right direction.  In a statement on Friday, June 15th, 2012, Mica added to the TSA conversation with, "Transitioning to private security operations under federal standards and supervision will get TSA out of the HR business and back into the security business” He also added, “Earlier this week, TSA granted the first application under the new reforms to allow an airport to convert to the private-federal screening model. We will bring on board the other 400-plus U.S. airports that still operate under the Soviet-style all-federal screening model."

This past year, Paul has been detained by the TSA after he declined a pat-down after he set off an imaging machine.  He kindly asked the TSA to be re-screened, but he was eventually rebuffed by new screeners in Nashville, TN.

Many Americans, political organizations, and party members on both parties have supported Paul's recent actions fighting the TSA since he took office in 2011, after winning in 2010.  Campaign for Liberty has also supported Rand Paul's after he teased the bill to them in a gathering earlier this year.

In a recent Federal Aviation Administration bill, airports can now contract private screens, easier than before, but at this time only 16 airports, including the most recent Orlando Sanford International Airport in Florida, participate in the privatizing of the TSA.  Seven TSA workers at an different Florida airport were reportedly not properly conducting screening procedure as well as a work related bribery scandal.  The airport has announced plans to fire them all.

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