House Passes Watson Coleman Bill to Improve TSA Preparedness

H.R. 1893, Transportation Security Preparedness Act would require TSA to develop a transportation security preparedness plan for communicable disease outbreaks

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Washington, DC, July 21, 2021 | comments

On Tuesday, the House passed H.R. 1893, the bipartisan Transportation and Security Preparedness Act introduced by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) chair of the subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security. The bill would require the Transportation Security Administration to, within two years of enactment, develop a transportation security preparedness plan for communicable disease outbreaks. The plan would have to cover communicating with TSA workers, modifying aviation screening systems and security checkpoints, and identifying potential obstacles such as funding constraints.

The survey would have to solicit feedback from TSA employees on how the agency distributed personal protective equipment, modified screening procedures, adjusted leave and telework policies, conducted contact tracing after employees tested positive, and encouraged vaccinations. TSA would have to conduct the survey within one year of the bill’s enactment and report to Congress on the results.

“The Covid-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities across our security infrastructure,” said Watson Coleman. “The Transportation Security Preparedness Act will help shore up weak points and ensure that the TSA regularly reevaluates where it needs to improve to ensure the safety of employees and travelers.”

H.R. 1893 passed under suspension 319-105. It is cosponsored by subcommittee Ranking Member Carlos Gimenez (FL-26), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (MS-2), committee Ranking Member John Katko (NY-24), and Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-2), Ed Case (HI-1), and Elaine Luria (VA-2). 

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