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May 14, 2013 > TSA told to 'walk and chew gum at the same time'

TSA told to 'walk and chew gum at the same time'

Submitted By Allison Bormel

U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) participated in a Homeland Security Transportation Security Subcommittee hearing on April 11, 2013 entitled "TSA's Efforts to Advance Risk-Based Security: Stakeholder Perspectives." Swalwell questioned witnesses from airline stakeholder groups regarding the decision by TSA to allow certain small knives on-board planes. He reiterated his objection to this risky policy that ignores the threat of knives, arguing TSA must screen for new threats like liquids, along with old ones like knives.

"TSA Agents can walk and chew gum simultaneously. There's no reason our TSA agents can't screen for knives and other threats at the same time," said Swalwell. "I remain stunned by TSA's misguided and unfounded new policy and despite the outrage from stakeholders like pilots and flight attendants, it refuses to listen and reverse course. We don't need our TSA agents wasting time measuring knives like NFL referees measure first downs."

Under the new policy, certain small knives and sporting equipment will be allowed on planes. Also, non-locking knives are allowed but locking knives remain prohibited. At the hearing, witness David A. Borer of the American Federation of Government Employees agreed with Swalwell that determining the difference between locking and non-locking knives would slow the screening process.

Swalwell recently coordinated a bipartisan letter signed by 133 Members of Congress to TSA Administrator John Pistole expressing serious concern and urging a withdrawal of this change in policy.

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