WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee chairman Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and ranking member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) today issued the following joint statement on failed airport security checkpoint tests by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson’s decision to transfer Acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway to another position. Joint statement from Thune and Nelson appears below:
“Terrorist groups like ISIS take notice when TSA fails to intercept 67 out of 70 attempts by undercover investigators to penetrate airport checkpoints with simulated weapons and explosives. Last night, we each spoke with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and have requested briefings from both the department and its Office of Inspector General that conducted these tests. We take this failure rate by TSA very seriously and, at a time when we are evaluating a nominee to lead this agency that hasn’t had a Senate-confirmed leader since December, this underscores the concerns we raised with the Administration earlier this year. We expect the department to address the results of recent security tests, and what changes it will make to fill security gaps and create a culture of accountability.”
Yesterday evening, Secretary Johnson informed Sens. Thune and Nelson that he intended to transfer Acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway to another position. The Commerce Committee has primary legislative and oversight jurisdiction over TSA. Last month, the committee held a hearing on the nomination of Coast Guard Admiral Peter V. Neffenger to lead the agency following his nomination on April 28, 2015.