TSA Claims Congress Has No Jurisdiction Over It

A hearing scheduled for Thursday by the Subcommittee on Aviation, which is a part of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (TIC), had an open invitation to agency head John Pistole to attend to discuss how best to improve our nation's airport passenger security system through common sense solutions. Pistole refused the invitation claiming that the Congressional Committee has "no jurisdiction of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)."

According to a brief titled How best to improve our nation's airport passenger security system through common sense solutions, submitted by Subcommittee Chairman Thomas Petri (R-WI):

The purpose of this hearing is to examine the impact that the regulations and policies of the Transportation Security Administration have on aviation passenger experience and the free flow of aviation commerce. The subcommittee will hear from government, industry, and labor witnesses on their observations and suggestions on TSA's policies.

While Pistole was invited to attend, he is declining and issued a statement via the TSA website:

By U.S. House of Representatives rules which state that the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has no jurisdiction over the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), no representative from TSA will be present at the Subcommittee on Aviation hearing scheduled for Nov. 29.

TSA will continue to work with its committees of jurisdiction to pursue effective and efficient security solutions. In the 112th Congress alone, TSA witnesses have testified at 38 hearings and provided 425 briefings for Members of Congress.

TSA also continues to work to enhance security screening measures and to improve the passenger experience including through the expansion of TSA Pre✓™. As part of its risk-based security initiatives, TSA has modified screening procedures for passengers 12 and under and 75 and older while pursuing a multi-layered approach to security that includes behavior detection officers, explosives-detection systems and federal air marshals, among other measures both seen and unseen.

John S. Pistole is the Administrator of the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

TIC's own website cites numerous areas of reform that are needed concerning the TSA. They list the following:

  • 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

Chairman John L. Mica states, "Unfortunately, TSA has lost its way. TSA must become the kind of agency it was intended to be – a thinking, risk-based, flexible agency that analyzes risks, sets security standards and audits security performance."

I disagree. Personally, TSA should be dismantled and airports should provide their own security. That way, there would be no question about violation of the Constitution, government reform or any of the other mess spelled out on the site. It would be privately run and would actually have to be accountable to both the public, as well as, the airport. They would not be some rogue, unionized federal workers who seem to be virtually immune from serious consequences to their actions.

Pennsylvania's Representative Bill Shuster, who many believe will head up TIC in the new Congress, believed that TSA officials should "absolutely" show up for the committee hearings. When asked if he though TIC had oversight over the TSA, Shuster replied, “I don’t think we have direct jurisdiction but when they impede commerce, when they impede the traveling public, they need to answer to the committee.”

Obviously something needs to be done. Reform is not what needs to be presented, but abolishment. Like all government agencies, I suppose we can expect that TSA will not go quietly into the night. I realize this makes many uncomfortable, but ask yourself this, do you want the federal government's TSA workers (who have a terrible track record when it comes to ethics) violating your rights to travel or would you much rather have a private security firm responsible for airport security? I know which one is Constitutional and which one I would rather deal with.

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  • Hcklbery

    The very same Congressional members on this committee also sit on the other committees that DO oversee his agency.

    NOT a very smart move to diss them like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.minor.547 Robert Minor

    As I recall the much hated (by all the libs) President Bush tried to get the Congress to NOT allow the TSA to become yet another unionized federal bureaucracy but rather make it a privately run for profit operation with government oversight. That would have put the airports and their contracted agents in charge of security but under the feds thumb. Too bad that he was ignored.

  • KG

    Aren't they paid by the taxpayer dollar??? That settles who has a say. They don't pay for themselves, that's for sure. They need an attitude adjustment!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gagec.cynthia Cynthia Gage

    As long as they are permitted to handle our personal parts and call it in the name of security i will not fly any airline except El-Al. The Israelie way of doing things is what we should be doing as well. They call what happens in airports RAPE in other parts of the country. So
    what do you do when someone plays on you like the TSA Agents: I would say defund the alphabet soup agencies and this country could pay off it's debt in a month. But; I don't think that is what anyone in DC has in mind. Oh well, we all sit here and chat, and complain but there is nothing any ONE of us could do, but if we are united ont the subject we had better get our talking points in order, because 2014 is coming, and we need to reduce the number of Democrats and Rhino Republicans and replace them with GOD fearing, and Country Loving people. I think we all agree. Peace to you all, and don't forget to call your representatives at state and federal levels and let them know how you feel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003947606949 Amber Shoreman

    "Congress" has no control over anything. It and the Senate as well as the Judicial branch might as well lock the doors and go the hell home! They are as useless and tits on male rattle snakes. Eliminate the unnecessary expense of running it and the salaries involved. THEY ARE USELESS AND INEFFECTIVE. Any decisions they make that doesn't kiss YOMAMA's ass is over turned and shoved up ours. Sp Shut it down and ever body get a bunch of guns and get ready to shoot to kill until the ammo runs out or we have eliminated Obama's Jigger Attack

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jon-Weiss/1318734279 Jon Weiss

    Looks like it is time for the House, which by the Constitution, is ONLY the start point for all government spending, to exercise a bit of jurisdiction over an area that the Constitution directly states the House of Representatives does have control. It is time for the House to defund the TSA.