With TSA moving forward to implement a shift in responsibility from the agency to airports for checkpoint exit lane staffing beginning early next year, AAAE continues to seek provisions in the fiscal year 2014 funding bill for DHS and TSA to stop those plans.
A key Senate subcommittee is expected to consider its version of the fiscal year 2014 DHS spending bill on July 16 with full committee consideration expected on July 18.
The House approved its version of the DHS spending bill (H.R. 2217) June 6 with favorable, but non-binding, report language and direction concerning exit lanes that calls on TSA to "work in conjunction with airport operators to assess the impact of this change and to consider delaying or at least phasing in the shift of responsibility to airport operators until affordable, effective technological solutions are certified by TSA, which may then be utilized by the airport operators to successfully staff exit lanes."
Key legislative staff and lawmakers responsible for drafting the DHS spending bills have noted that rejection of TSA's exit lane proposal would force the bill's authors to come up with nearly $90 million in savings from other parts of the DHS budget, which is already constrained with demands for border agents, the Coast Guard and other priorities.