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Tag: TSA

Sen. Schumer: Trump’s Plans to Cut TSA Budget by 11% Is Dangerous

airport scanner 2By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s plans to cut 11% from the TSA’s budget would “spell real trouble for security,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

The cuts are meant to free up money to increase funding for immigration enforcement programs and the construction of a wall along the Mexico border.

Schumer, D-N.Y., called the cuts a “cash raid for the borer wall,” Newsday reports. 

“You’re not going to quietly pillage the federal funds that protect New York on my watch,” said Schumer, who serves as the Senate Minority Leader, directing his message at the White House.

Under Trump’s plans, the Coast Guard also would be cut by 14%.

The TSA cuts would eliminate a $20 million program to train flight crew members in firearms training in the event of a hijacking. The plan also calls for cutting $45 million in grants for local law enforcement to increase patrols in and around airports.

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Proposes Cuts to TSA, Secret Service, FEMA to Pay for Border Wall

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump wants to free up money for his border wall by mulling cuts to the Coast Guard, TSA, Secret Service and FEMA.

The budget reductions would cut deeply into notable national security and emergency response initiatives, ABC News reports. 

Under the proposal, the administration would cut $1.3 billion from the Coast Guard’s budget, which is a 14% reduction over last year.

TSA stands to lose more than $500 million, and FEMA would be cut by $370 million.

But whether Trump can get Congress to approve the reductions is an entirely different story. Republicans and Democrats questioned the wisdom of the budget cuts.

“The White House needs to go back to drawing board with its budget and produce something to Congress that is workable, realistic, and, most importantly, keeps our country safe,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee.

Other Stories of Interest

TSA Warns Local Police about More Invasive Physical Pat-Downs at Airports

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA is beginning to conduct more invasive physical pat-downs at airports nationwide, but it’s not entirely clear what that will entail.

But the agency informed local police of the new procedures because of suspicions that passengers will complain about “abnormal” federal frisking, Bloomberg reports.

Bloomberg wrote:

The decision to alert local and airport police raises a question of just how intimate the agency’s employees may get. On its website, the TSA says employees “use the back of the hands for pat-downs over sensitive areas of the body. In limited cases, additional screening involving a sensitive area pat-down with the front of the hand may be needed to determine that a threat does not exist.”

Now, security screeners will use the front of their hands on a passenger in a private screening area if one of the prior screening methods indicates the presence of explosives, according to a “security notice” Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) sent its U.S. members following a March 1 conference call with TSA officials

“Due to this change, TSA asked FSDs [field security directors] to contact airport law enforcement and brief them on the procedures in case they are notified that a passenger believes a [TSA employee] has subjected them to an abnormal screening practice,” ACI wrote.

President Trump to Issue New Travel Ban Order That Removes Iraqis from List

airport-people-walkingBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is expected to sign a new executive order Monday to replace his previous U.S. travel ban, which was blocked by courts.

Reuters reports that Iraq will be removed from the list of countries targeted in the travel ban.

The order would impose a 90-day ban on travel from the U.S. to six Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Iraq was removed from the original order because of new vetting procedures and its work helping the U.S. combat ISIS.

The new order also isn’t expected to impact tens of thousands of legal permanent residents who are green card holders.

Should TSA Fire Staffers After 11 Passengers Weren’t Screened at JFK Airport?

1024px-welcome_john_f-_kennedy_international_airport_signBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Eleven passengers managed to get past a checking point at JFK Airport without being screened last week, prompting outrage from law enforcement.

Although three of those passengers set off a metal-detector alarm, they were able to walk on without the TSA alerting Port Authority police for two hours.

In a statement, the TSA wrote, “Once our review is complete, TSA will discipline and retrain employees.”

The TSA pledged to take “appropriate action” against the responsible workers.

In an editorial last week, the New York Post called for the termination of the employees involved. 

Retraining. Appropriate action. How about fired? Sorry, no: TSA staff are a protected branch of the American Federation of Government Employees, one with the hilarious motto: “Stronger Union, Safer Skies.”

Private-sector workers who mess up so badly as to put lives in jeopardy would be gone in a heartbeat. Heck, they’d be fired for far less serious breaches.

Somewhere along the road to making America great again, Mr. President, how about privatizing the damn TSA to end all the maddening “security theater?”

Other Stories of Interest

Man Dies After Breaching TSA Security Checkpoint at Honolulu International Airport

Honolulu International Airport

Honolulu International Airport

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man in his 40s died after being detained for breaching a TSA security checkpoint at the Honolulu International Airport.

The incident began after Department of Transportation officials said the suspect rushed through an exit lane of a security checkpoint and entered an area where ticketed passengers were waiting to board their flights on Saturday morning, CBS affiliate KGMB reports.

“All of a sudden this man, a very large man, ran through the terminal and started ramming himself through the doors,” reported Hawaii News Now’s Mahealani Richardson. “He looked like he was trying to get out to the runway where the planes are.”

The man was placed in custody.

“Even after he was detained, there was still a struggle and the suspect remained combative and at that point is when he became unresponsive,” said Tim Sakahara, DOT spokesperson.

The man died after being taken to the hospital.

Honolulu police are investigating.

Other Stories of Interest

TSA Discovers Hidden Sword Inside a Cane Used by 80-Year-Old Woman

TSA sword found at an airport, via Myrtle Beach International Airport.

TSA sword found at an airport, via Myrtle Beach International Airport.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An 80-year-old woman was surprised when she learned that her walking cane contained a hidden sword that was discovered by security at a South Carolina airport, the TSA said.

The woman relinquished her cane after security found a hidden blade nearly the length of the cane at the Myrtle Beach International Airport., the Sun News reports. 

“She had no clue it was in there,” TSA spokesman Mark Howell said.

The woman said she received the cane from her son.

The TSA said it’s not uncommon for people to buy items at thrift stores without knowing that a weapon is stored inside.

Other Stories of Interest

President Trump’s Federal Hiring Freeze Could Hurt TSA

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has pledged to make airports and planes safer, but his federal hiring freeze could impact TSA’s ability to adequately staff airport security lines.

“It’s our understanding that there is a hiring freeze for TSA and other departments inside of Homeland Security,” J. David Cox, the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), said at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Thursday, The Hill reports. 

Trump signed an order last week freezing the hiring of federal employees, except for military personnel.

“I think some type of correspondence should go out to the administration in terms of maybe looking at that freeze in this area,” said Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) “Making sure that the traveling public is safe should not be something that’s curtailed. I really think that’s something that needs to be addressed.”

Cox said the TSA has lots a lot of security officers.

The TSA still has “5,000 less transportation security officers today than… several years ago,” Cox said. “So we have less people doing more screening. That 5,000 that’s been lost needs to be returned.”

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