Hutchison Questions TSA Nominee on Collective Bargaining, Need to Improve Surface Transportation Security

March 23, 2010

Hutchison Portrait

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.