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house Bill H.R. 6265

Should the TSA Stop Letting Non-PreCheck Travelers Into PreCheck Lanes?

Argument in favor

The TSA’s PreCheck program allows low-risk passengers to use expedited security lines because they have been subject to background checks, provided biographical information about themselves, and paid a membership fee for the program. Air travelers who haven’t completed these procedures aren’t low-risk, and shouldn’t be allowed to use expedited screening lines due to security considerations.

Patriot1775's Opinion
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09/03/2018
Why isn't your head exploding over this. As a pre-check passenger, I had to jump through the hoops and pay the bucks, so as an American, I can fly around America. That, in itself, should piss you off. it does me. However, since I had to jump through those hoops, why should joe public be allowed to get into my line and reap the same reward as me? If the lines are to long, then put more staff and more gates to work. Remember, it is the government who mandated full body searches, so do your job and make it work.
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Jennifer 's Opinion
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09/03/2018
I paid $80 and had to go through fingerprinting and a background check. What was the point of that, if just anyone can go through the line?
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Vukasika's Opinion
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09/03/2018
Absolutely. What’s the point of going through the process of Pre-Check if it’s open to everyone regardless of compliance with Pre-Check requirements.
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Argument opposed

Long lines at airport security are a bigger security risk than moving people who’ve been cleared by explosives-sniffing dogs into the PreCheck line. Forcing the TSA to end the practice of diverting people from regular security lines into PreCheck lines will inevitably make air travel less efficient and more unpleasant for travelers, as well.

BeStrong's Opinion
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09/03/2018
Why is this an issue? This isn’t a law, it’s a service offered at the airports. Pay for it, use it, be offered it as a complimentary benefit, how exactly is this a concern or issue of the public good. We have children still ripped from their families, we have escalating healthcare issues, we have a national disgrace in the form of A person and his actions. Next item please...we have a Country to be stewards of. This item is trivial and not worthy of Congressional intervention. I paid and I don’t care a cent about this. #Vote
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ccolan's Opinion
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09/03/2018
Children or elders traveling with someone who is already cleared should be allowed through the precheck line with he cleared person.
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UTEngie's Opinion
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09/03/2018
I'm glad we solved all of America's problems and can focus on the real issues.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house Passed September 4th, 2018
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Transportation and Maritime Security
      Committee on Homeland Security
    IntroducedJune 28th, 2018

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What is House Bill H.R. 6265?

This bill — known as the PreCheck is PreCheck Act of 2018 — would allow only travelers who are members of a trusted traveler program to use TSA PreCheck security screening lanes at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints. Any traveler under the age of 12 or over the age of 75 who is not a member of a trusted traveler program would be permitted to use TSA PreCheck security screening lanes at TSA checkpoints when traveled on the same reservation as a member of such a program.

The TSA Administration would be responsible for implementing a risk modified screening protocol for lanes other than TSA PreCheck at TSA checkpoints to further segment passengers based on risk. These risk modified checkpoints would be implemented at as many TSA checkpoints as possible, taking into consideration the level or risk, physical accommodation, and passenger throughput of each airport.

The TSA Administration would be required to seek to increase enrollment in the TSA PreCheck program and expand the total population of members of trusted traveler programs by:

  • Partnering with air carriers to incorporate PreCheck Program promotion opportunities in the reservation process;

  • Including individuals who hold Secret, Top Secret, or Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information clearances in the program;

  • Included current, full-time federal law enforcement officers in the program,

  • Offering a secure mobile enrollment platform that facilities in-person identity verification and application data collection, such as biometrics;

  • Developing initiatives to minimize applicants’ travel time to PreCheck Program enrollment centers; and

  • Assessing the feasibility of providing financial or other incentives for PreCheck Program enrollment to children 12-18 years old, families of five or more, private sector entities that establish PreCheck enrollment centers in their respective facilities, and private sector; entities that reimburse employees for the cost of the PreCheck Program application, and

  • Exploring combining the PreCheck program with other trusted traveler programs.

“Trusted traveler programs” are:

  • Programs implemented by the TSA, and

  • Any other U.S. government program that issues unique identifies, such as a Known Traveler Number (KTN), that the TSA accepts as validating that the person holding the identifier is a member of a low-risk population.

Impact

Travelers; trusted traveler program members; airports; and the Transportation Security Administration.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 6265

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. John Katko (R-NY) introduced this bill to stop the TSA from diverting passengers who are not enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program into expedited screening lines. In his opening statement for a House Transportation and Protective Security Subcommittee meeting, “Assessing the TSA Checkpoint: The PreCheck Program and Airport Wait Times,” Rep. Kato stated:

“TSA has been granting PreCheck status to passengers who have not enrolled in the program in an effort to reduce congestion at checkpoints. I have repeatedly expressed to TSA that PreCheck should not be used to manage traffic, especially under the guise of risk-based security. In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to ensure that PreCheck lanes are available only to passengers enrolled in PreCheck or another trusted traveler program. PreCheck, when used as designed, is a valuable tool that enables TSA to assess a passenger’s risk to aviation security prior to their arrival at an airport checkpoint. By providing expedited screening to pre-vetted populations, TSA can direct additional TSOs to standard lanes to screen unknown travelers. PreCheck and other trusted traveler programs, when used as designed, are undoubtedly some of the best tools in TSA’s toolbox. However, despite TSA’s efforts to increase enrollment, participation in the PreCheck program has stagnated after reaching nearly 6 million travelers. Undoubtedly, many passengers are frustrated by TSA’s frivolous practice of merging non-enrolled travelers into PreCheck screening lanes and disappointed in the limited availability of PreCheck lanes at many airports.”

According to Politico, Rep. Katko has used his position as chairman of the Homeland Security transportation subcommittee to “repeatedly blast TSA officials for the agency’s continued practice of allowing non-PreCheck enrollees into those lines.

TSA officials contend that they already provide numerous levels of security in an airport, some of which are visible, and others of which are not visible. When there are long lines for standard screening at TSA checkpoints, passengers who have been sniffed by an explosives-detection dog can move to the PreCheck lane, where they leave on shoes and coats, and leave laptops and small containers of fluids in their carry-on bags. Stacy Fitzmaurice, TSA deputy assistant administrator for security operations, argues that this is effective and efficient: “We also have additional screening measures that we can apply, the use of canines being an example. We believe that that is one of the more effective screening methods.”

Airports Council International (ACI-NA) is opposed to this bill due to its concern that this bill would have operational impacts on airports. Due to its concerns, ACI-NA secured two changes to this bill, which are reflected in its current version: (1) ensuring travelers under 12 or over 75 can continue accessing PreCheck lanes when traveling on the same itinerary as a PreCheck member, and (2) requiring TSA to pilot risk-modified screening lanes before they are universally employed.

Airlines for America and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport oppose this bill. Wendy Reiter, Director of Airport Security for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, spoke on behalf of her airport at a House Congressional hearing on TSA PreCheck, and stated her airport’s opposition to this bill. Ms. Reiter contended that the risks of long lines outweigh the risks of allowing people into the TSA PreCheck line after they are cleared by bomb-sniffing dogs:

“TSA PreCheck is an important threat reduction program, but we believe strongly that the bigger threat to airport and passenger security is long wait times that create soft targets for those that seek to inflict harm and terror on our facilities. Reducing the throughput benefits of canines would increase wait times at general screening lanes exponentially, erasing any security gains from incentivizing PreCheck enrollment.”

This legislation passed the House Homeland Security Committee unanimously and currently has the support of three cosponsors,, including two Democrats and one Republican. The Global Business Travel Association and U.S. Travel Association support this bill.


Of NoteThe move to allowing passengers who had been cleared by bomb-sniffing dogs to go into PreCheck lines occurred in the spring of 2016, when a confluence of fewer screeners, tighter security, and heightened summer travel combined to form hours-long lines at airports across the country. At that time, the shift to allowing passengers who had been cleared by explosives-sniffing canines to enter PreCheck lines rescued TSA from a crisis due to traveler complaints.

However, since 2016, complaints about this new policy have been twofold, with concerns about convenience and security being raised by Congress and travelers. Critics point out that PreCheck participants are given less scrutiny at airports because they have already given the TSA biographical information, undergone criminal background checks, and paid $85 for their five-year enrollments in the program — whereas individuals who are sent from the regular screening line to the PreCheck line after being cleared by canines have completed none of these prerequisites. To critics, this is a potential security concern.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / David Tran)

AKA

PreCheck is PreCheck Act of 2018

Official Title

To ensure that only travelers who are members of a trusted traveler program use Transportation Security Administration security screening lanes designated for trusted travelers, and for other purposes.

    Why isn't your head exploding over this. As a pre-check passenger, I had to jump through the hoops and pay the bucks, so as an American, I can fly around America. That, in itself, should piss you off. it does me. However, since I had to jump through those hoops, why should joe public be allowed to get into my line and reap the same reward as me? If the lines are to long, then put more staff and more gates to work. Remember, it is the government who mandated full body searches, so do your job and make it work.
    Like (56)
    Follow
    Share
    Why is this an issue? This isn’t a law, it’s a service offered at the airports. Pay for it, use it, be offered it as a complimentary benefit, how exactly is this a concern or issue of the public good. We have children still ripped from their families, we have escalating healthcare issues, we have a national disgrace in the form of A person and his actions. Next item please...we have a Country to be stewards of. This item is trivial and not worthy of Congressional intervention. I paid and I don’t care a cent about this. #Vote
    Like (39)
    Follow
    Share
    I paid $80 and had to go through fingerprinting and a background check. What was the point of that, if just anyone can go through the line?
    Like (48)
    Follow
    Share
    Children or elders traveling with someone who is already cleared should be allowed through the precheck line with he cleared person.
    Like (27)
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    Share
    Absolutely. What’s the point of going through the process of Pre-Check if it’s open to everyone regardless of compliance with Pre-Check requirements.
    Like (25)
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    While hundreds of TSA agents have been arrested for theft and other offenses, they have not caught a single terrorist. There is no accountability in the current bureaucratic nightmare that is the TSA. The whole agency should be scrapped and private security companies should be hired by the airports/airlines instead.
    Like (19)
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    I'm glad we solved all of America's problems and can focus on the real issues.
    Like (16)
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    Can we maybe address important things? Healthcare? Stagnant wages? Gun control? Education? Things that are not micromanaging the length of a queue at the airport. Because on the scale of important shit that’s pretty low. Oooo you paid some money. Oh my you had fingerprints done and a background check! GOSH, LIFE IS HARD. Remind me again, this is precheck thing is VOLUNTARY right? It IS? So no one was FORCED into it? Gosh. Maybe then folks should stop acting like entitled brats whining about sharing their toys with their siblings.
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    What’s the purpose of having PreCheck lanes if any/every body can use them? Either use them properly or don’t have them at all.
    Like (13)
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    Yes but that's only the first step. The main goal should be the abolition of the TSA and other wasteful government agencies
    Like (12)
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    This is what OUR Congress is up to right now? MICRO-MANAGING the TSA? Good God - there are many more important things to do. If this is your best, resign and let someone with vision serve.
    Like (9)
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    Pre check is only for those that have qualified thru examination.
    Like (9)
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    Having been behind an “over 75” passenger that required THREE passes through the metal detector to finally find all his change, get people who haven’t been cleared OUT of the lane I paid and passed a background check to use. Age doesn’t determine threat. Set up a senior lane if that’s more efficient.
    Like (7)
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    Seriously? Americans have one of the most expensive and least effective healthcare systems globally, and we are voting on this? Our children are being murdered in schools and we are voting on this?
    Like (7)
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    TSA is at best security theater and at worst a violation of the 4th amendment. The entire burden, the presumption of "suspect till proven innocent", should be made as light as possible, to the point of removal.
    Like (6)
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    Yes, why is this even being considered. Our nation has more important things to do, like getting Kavanaugh confirmed!
    Like (5)
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    If political correctness did not exist, and we implemented our airport security like they do in Israel, we could do away with much of the TSA and the long lines. It’s only because of political correctness that profiling is not allowed. We know that all terrorists are Muslim but not all Muslims are terrorists. Simple logic would tell you to screen Muslims boarding planes. Also, our FBI and CIA should know who to be watching. If not, just talk to the Israel’s and they’ll tell you how to do it efficiently and cheaply with out inconveniencing every American traveler.
    Like (5)
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    Have Americans been so frightened by this Administration that they feel unsafe If a child under the age of 12 or a senior over the age of 75, traveling on the same reservation as someone who has passed pre-Security, goes through with them? What happened to America the brave? Every single Administration prior to this one has kept Americans safe without a wall, without extreme vetting, without federal agents snapping people off of our streets.
    Like (5)
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    The whole purpose of precheck is for those of us that have gone through the process, not for those that didn't so they need to go through the regular lanes.
    Like (4)
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    This just seems common sense to me
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