Rep. Peter DeFazio Applauds Senate Introduction of Legislation to Increase Funding for Aviation Security
Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Ranking Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today applauded Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for introducing companion legislation to the FASTER Act, H.R. 2514, in the Senate.
“There is ample funding—paid for by the consumer—that exists to ease Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint congestion while enhancing screening technology, but it’s being diverted to mask government debt,” said Rep. DeFazio.” Ending the diversion of airline safety funds and directing them towards their intended purpose will improve our national security and airport efficiency. I’m pleased Senators Markey and Blumenthal introduced a companion bill in the Senate.”
Consumers pay a fee when purchasing airline tickets that is intended to pay for aviation security. The passenger fee currently stands at $5.60 per one-way trip and may not exceed $11.20 round trip. In Fiscal Year 2016, passengers paid more than $3.6 billion in aviation security fees.
However, in 2013, Congress began diverting one-third of the revenue collected from these fees to the Treasury’s General Fund. Since 2013, Congress has diverted more than $5.4 billion from TSA and will divert another $13.6 billion through 2027 unless current law is changed. At the same time, the number of airline passengers has increased substantially, leading to TSA staffing shortages, increased wait times for travelers, and delayed deployment of state-of-the-art screening equipment.
The FASTER (Funding for Aviation Screeners and Threat Elimination Restoration) Act would ensure that passenger security fees only go towards aviation security and prevent Congress from raiding these funds in the future.