Transportation security administration
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created after 9/11 to secure air travel. However, it often seems that the policies of the TSA and the conduct of its employees make more news than the crimes it is charged to prevent. Scanners that are too revealing, alleged sexual assaults, racial profiling, and insensitivity while searching the elderly, young, and people with disabilities are only some of the reasons TSA officers are criticized by angry passengers. The TSA has also wrongly prevented or delayed many passengers from boarding flights. Officials say these isolated incidents are comparatively few and that sometimes there are errors on the no-fly list that bar passengers from boarding. TSA supporters say it is performing a monumental job well, considering the number of passengers it needs to inspect each day. Other critics claim the TSA has squandered the $900 million training and deployment of an estimated 3,000 “behavior detection” officers (BDO). BDO teams wander the airports watching as passengers are searched at checkpoints and are charged with making judgments as to the passenger’s reactions to the treatment they receive. Critics claim this program is discriminatory in nature, extremely ineffective, and often targets those who are perceived to be Arab Americans. The Government Accountability Office states the “available evidence does not support whether behavioral indicators can be used to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security.” Instead, it recommended that this funding be “directed to programs that have demonstrated their effectiveness.”

Regarding in-flight safety concerns, there was considerable debate in 2013 when the TSA announced it might change its rule prohibiting small knives in carry-on luggage. Although it was eventually decided for this ban to remain in place, some wish to permanently prohibit these items from being carried aboard passenger aircraft.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.81 - FAMS Augmentation Act of 2015

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Poll Opening Date
May 21, 2020
Poll Closing Date
May 27, 2020

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