As the U.S. marks the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, two House of Representatives committees are holding hearings about the country's transportation security as well as the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, foreign seafarer identification, and foreign ports.
In advance of the hearings, lawmakers released a 23-page report demanding a reduction in the TSA workforce, greater private sector involvement, tighter privacy protections, and restructured security regulations - raising questions as to whether TSA can evolve to meet the next terrorist threat. The report, released by the House Subcommittee on Transportation Security, slammed the TSA for "failing to meet taxpayers' expectations," saying "its operations are in many cases costly, counterintuitive, and poorly executed."
Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said, "Since TSA's creation after the devastating terrorist attacks of 9/11, the agency has gone down a troubling path of overspending, limiting private sector engagement, and failing to sufficiently protect passenger privacy." House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) called the agency a "massive, inflexible, backward-looking bureaucracy." Chairman Mica has long championed privatized screeners. Sadly, the analysis contained in the report points out that "TSA has become its own worst enemy by underestimating the privacy impact of its operations, and limiting lines of communication and the flow of information to the public."