WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today questioned Major General Robert A. Harding (U.S.A., ret.), the nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), about his views on collective bargaining and emphasized the need to improve surface transportation security.
“I appreciate General Harding’s many years of service to our
country, and I applaud his willingness to undertake such a challenging new
role,” said Senator Hutchison. “I share
my colleagues’ sense of urgency about the need to confirm a new leader for the
Transportation Security Administration. This
agency, which is critical to fulfilling the mission of the Department of
Homeland Security and protecting the traveling public, has been without an
Administrator for more than a year. I am
especially troubled that this Administration continues to focus on the collective
bargaining issue even though former TSA Administrators have argued that
allowing screeners to collectively bargain could have dire consequences on the
agency’s fundamental security mission, and would degrade its flexible workforce
which can react quickly to emerging threats.”
Senator Hutchison also noted the need for TSA to improve its efforts on surface transportation security. “Sixty-eight percent of the President’s budget is for aviation security and only two percent is for surface transportation security. And yet in other countries we have seen attacks on surface public transportation. The next head of TSA will need to carefully consider and establish its priorities among the various modes of transportation in this country.”
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You can view Senator Hutchison’s opening statement here.
You can view Senator Hutchison’s questions on collective bargaining here.
You can view Senator Hutchison’s questions on the need to improve surface transportation security here.