Rep. Roybal-Allard Statement on Transportation Security Administration Budget Request
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), the Ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, today delivered the following opening statement at a Subcommittee hearing on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) budget request for Fiscal Year 2016. The hearing’s witness was TSA Acting Administrator Melvin Carraway.
“Administrator Carraway, welcome to your first appearance before the Subcommittee, and congratulations on your appointment as Acting Administrator. We are here to support your efforts to ensure the security of the traveling public, and we appreciate your hard work and commitment, and that of TSA personnel.
“For several years now, the proposed budget for TSA has been coming down instead of going up, with net savings of $68 million proposed for Fiscal Year 2016 compared to Fiscal Year 2015 – including a reduction of $51 million for screeners. This has occurred in the context of a growing volume of passengers. Given the fiscal challenges we face, we are going to need that savings from TSA in coming years, and perhaps even more.
“TSA’s risk-based approach to aviation security is a success story, but I think it’s important for us to understand and have confidence in the underlying risk assessments, and I’ll be asking you later in the hearing about that process.
“Most of the TSA workforce is performing admirably in what is a very difficult, often very strenuous, occupation. And as was tragically confirmed in late 2013 with the shooting death of TSO Gerardo Hernandez at the Los Angeles Airport, it can also be a very dangerous occupation. As you know, the Fiscal Year 2015 funding bill that the President signed into law just a few weeks ago included a provision making the family of TSO Hernandez eligible for benefits under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program.
“We do still hear about unprofessional behavior by some TSOs, and occasionally see it ourselves in our frequent travels between home and Washington. We want to work with you on continuing to improve the interactions between TSA and the public.
“Administrator Carraway, I look forward to this morning’s discussion of TSA’s proposed budget for the coming year.”