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TSA Claims Congress Has No Jurisdiction Over It

TSA head tells Congress they have no jurisdiction over agency
(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

The Transportation Security Administration is again flexing its muscle in telling a Congressional committee it doesn’t have to show up for a hearing.The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (TIC) last Thursday was scheduled to have a hearing to discuss improving airport security systems with an emphasis on common-sense solutions.

TSA director John Pistole was asked to attend but told Congress it had no jurisdiction over his office. Perhaps it was the agenda of the meeting that motivated him:

  • TSA Waste in Procuring, Deploying and Storing Screening Equipment and Technology
  • Passenger Screening Reform — Private-Federal Screening Model Is More Efficient & Cost-Effective, and Could Save Taxpayers $1 Billion
  • A Decade of Costly TSA Missteps
  • TSA Wastes Over $200 Million Every Year on Flawed Behavior Detection Program
  • TSA Has Failed to Approve Biometric Technology for Pilots or Port Workers

Regardless of one’s political affiliation, it is a well-known fact the TSA has been plagued throughout its 10-year history by the above-mentioned issues and more. Dozens of current and former TSA employees have been accused — and even charged with — various crimes ranging from theft, embezzlement, drug smuggling and invasive privacy acts in screenings.

Many in the capitol are pushing for the TSA to be abolished altogether — but it likely won’t be; we will probably see a regular stream of committee meetings designed to improve its performance.


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