Senators Markey and Blumenthal Introduce Legislation to Increase Funding for Aviation Security
FASTER Act would dedicate all September 11 Security Fees to aviation security
Washington (September 5, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today introduced the Funding for Aviation Screeners and Threat Elimination Restoration (FASTER) Act, which will ensure that revenues collected from aviation security fees are used to help finance the costs of aviation security, including screening equipment, personnel, and research and development. In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Congress established the September 11 Security Fee to help finance the cost of securing the nation’s aviation transportation system. However, in 2013, Congress began diverting approximately 1/3rd of the revenue generated by these security fees for deficit reduction. From 2014-2027, nearly $20 billion of security fees will be diverted for deficit reduction – that includes $1.3 billion diverted this fiscal year alone. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (OR-04) has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“The TSA must be provided with robust resources to fulfill its mission to protect the nation’s transportation system,” said Senator Markey. “This bill will ensure that all of the September 11 Security Fee goes to its intended use – improving security at our airports and in the skies.”
“The September 11th Security Fee was initially created to support the TSA and the aviation security measures we all rely on to keep our families and skies safe – the American people rightly expect the fee to be used for its intended purpose,” said Senator Blumenthal. “This bill will prevent these funds from being raided for other uses – increasing TSA’s ability to keep the traveling public safe and reducing congestion at our nation’s airports. I urge my colleagues to pass this bill quickly, before the busy holiday travel season.”
A copy of the FASTER Act can be found HERE.
“TSA remains chronically understaffed, while funds intended for aviation security are being diverted to unrelated government spending,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox, Sr. “The FASTER Act will help restore funding to TSA security operations and could help the agency address critical staffing needs.”
“The burden of paying off the federal deficit should not fall on the backs of airline passengers paying higher government ticket fees,” said Sean Kennedy, Senior VP, Global Government Affairs, Airlines for America. “The FASTER Act would ensure that airline security fees go where they belong: funding aviation security.”
“Too often, long lines at security checkpoints create delays, hassles and increased stress for air travelers. Ironically, travelers are already paying for airline security through the fees levied on their airline tickets, yet one-third of that security funding is being diverted to pay for government debt rather than passenger screening,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA Executive Director and COO. “While deficit reduction is an important national priority, it should not fall to air travelers to pay down the nation’s debt. The FASTER Act would end that practice, and ensure that security fees pay for security as intended. On behalf of the more than 9,000 members of the Global Business Travel Association, I applaud Senator Markey’s efforts to champion the FASTER Act and end the practice of diverting TSA security fees away from security so travelers can count on safer and swifter screening.”