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Members of Congress Refute TSA Explanation of Knife Policy

Posted on Apr 9, 2013

April 9, 2013 (WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), Ranking Member of the Transportation Security Subcommittee, and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Member of the Transportation Security Subcommittee, sent a letter to John S. Pistole, Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), reiterating their chief concern that proper procedures and protocols were not followed when TSA announced its decision to allow passengers to bring certain knives and sports equipment onboard airplanes.  This letter, which requests more information from TSA, follows a response from the Administrator to a letter from 133 members of Congress last month expressing serious concern and urging the withdrawal of this change in policy.

Congressman Thompson released the following statement on the letter:

“The Administrator’s response to our inquiry did not address its central concern – that TSA did not consult with appropriate stakeholders when changing this critical policy. The American public deserves to know that established procedures are followed when policies affecting security and safety are created or changed.  TSA seems to believe that its primary responsibility is to protect aircrafts from ‘catastrophic failure’. This agency, paid for by the American public, must understand that its mission to protect people – passengers and crew.”

Congressman Richmond also released the following statement:

“I am very concerned about TSA’s failure to consult with all stakeholders when it adopted new rules on knives and sports equipment,” said Congressman Richmond. “Administrator Pistole’s response does little to explain the lack of meaningful engagement of stakeholders and I will continue to raise questions until he fully addresses the committee’s concerns. As it stands, I have questions about TSA’s commitment to stakeholder input as the agency takes a more risk-based approach to passenger screening.”

Congressman Swalwell added the following statement:

“TSA’s response to our concerns about its new knife policy is shocking in its rejection of reality. Just because new threats exist does not mean old threats disappear. The prohibited items policy shows a disturbing lack of faith in the screening capabilities of our Transportation Security Officers by suggesting they cannot screen for more than one threat at a time. And, I’m baffled that although the Administrator admitted to Congress that he did not sufficiently engage with stakeholders, this most recent letter makes no similar admission and justifies the decision-making process. I plan to continue to work with my colleagues to repeal this policy so air travel remains safe for passengers and crew.”

CALL TODAY: (202) 224-3121 and ask the Capitol switchboard operator to connect you with your Representatives. Tell your members of Congress to pass legislation that would ensure No Knives, Ever Again in the aircraft cabin.
 

Call Your Senator

Alabama

Sessions, Jeff (R-AL) – (202) 224-4124
Shelby, Richard C. (R-AL) – (202) 224-5744

Alaska

Begich, Mark (D-AK) – (202) 224-3004
Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK) – (202) 224-6665

Arizona
Flake, Jeff (R-AZ) – (202) 224-4521
McCain, John (R – AZ) – (202) 224-2235

Arkansas
Boozman, John (R-AR) – (202) 224-4843
Pryor, Mark L. (D-AR) – (202) 224-2353

California
Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) – (202) 224-3553
Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) – (202) 224-3841

Colorado
Bennet, Michael F. (D-CO) – (202) 224-5852
Udall, Mark (D-CO) – (202) 224-5941

Connecticut
Blumenthal, Richard (D-CT) – (202) 224-2823
Murphy, Christopher (D-CT) – (202) 224-4041

Delaware
Carper, Thomas R. (D-DE) – (202) 224-2441
Coons, Christopher A. (D-DE) – (202) 224-5042

Florida
Nelson, Bill (D-FL) – (202) 224-5274
Rubio, Marco (R-FL) – (202) 224-3041

Georgia
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA) – (202) 224-3521
Isakson, Johnny (R-GA) – (202) 224-3643

Hawaii
Hirono, Mazie K. (D-HI) – (202) 224-6361
Schatz, Brian (D-HI) – (202) 224-3934

Idaho
Crapo, Mike (R-ID) – (202) 224-6142
Risch, James E. (R-ID) – (202) 224-2752

Illinois
Durbin, Richard J. (D-IL) – (202) 224-2152
Kirk, Mark (R-IL) – (202) 224-2854

Indiana
Coats, Daniel (R-IN) – (202) 224-5623
Donnelly, Joe (D-IN) – (202) 224-4814

Iowa
Grassley, Chuck (R-IA) – (202) 224-3744
Harkin, Tom (D-IA) – (202) 224-3254

Kansas
Moran, Jerry (R-KS) – (202) 224-6521
Roberts, Pat (R-KS) – (202) 224-4774

Kentucky
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) – (202) 224-2541
Paul, Rand (R-KY) – (202) 224-4343

Louisiana
Landrieu, Mary L. (D-LA) – (202) 224-5824
Vitter, David (R-LA) – (202) 224-4623

Maine
Collins, Susan M. (R-ME) – (202) 224-2523
King, Angus S., Jr. (I-ME) – (202) 224-5344

Maryland
Cardin, Benjamin L. (D-MD) – (202) 224-4524
Mikulski, Barbara A. (D-MD) – (202) 224-4654

Massachusetts
Cowan, William M. (D-MA) – (202) 224-2742
Warren, Elizabeth (D-MA) – (202) 224-4543

Michigan
Levin, Carl (D-MI) – (202) 224-6221
Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI) – (202) 224-4822

Minnesota
Franken, Al (D-MN) – (202) 224-5641
Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN) – (202) 224-3244

Mississippi
Cochran, Thad (R-MS) – (202) 224-5054
Wicker, Roger F. (R-MS) – (202) 224-6253

Missouri
Blunt, Roy (R-MO) – (202) 224-5721
McCaskill, Claire (D-MO) – (202) 224-6154

Montana
Baucus, Max (D-MT) – (202) 224-2651
Tester, Jon (D-MT) – (202) 224-2644

Nebraska
Fischer, Deb (R-NE) – (202) 224-6551
Johanns, Mike (R-NE) – (202) 224-4224

Nevada
Heller, Dean (R-NV) – (202) 224-6244
Reid, Harry (D-NV) – (202) 224-3542

New Hampshire
Ayotte, Kelly (R-NH) – (202) 224-3324
Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NH) – (202) 224-2841

New Jersey
Lautenberg, Frank R. (D-NJ) – (202) 224-3224
Menendez, Robert (D-NJ) – (202) 224-4744

New Mexico
Heinrich, Martin (D-NM) – (202) 224-5521
Udall, Tom (D-NM) – (202) 224-6621

New York
Gillibrand, Kirsten E. (D-NY) – (202) 224-4451
Schumer, Charles E. (D-NY) – (202) 224-6542

North Carolina
Burr, Richard (R-NC) – (202) 224-3154
Hagan, Kay R. (D-NC) – (202) 224-6342

North Dakota
Heitkamp, Heidi (D-ND) – (202) 224-2043
Hoeven, John (R-ND) – (202) 224-2551

Ohio
Brown, Sherrod (D-OH) – (202) 224-2315
Portman, Rob (R-OH) – (202) 224-3353

Oklahoma
Coburn, Tom (R-OK) – (202) 224-5754
Inhofe, James M. (R-OK) – (202) 224-4721

Oregon
Merkley, Jeff (D-OR) – (202) 224-3753
Wyden, Ron (D-OR) – (202) 224-5244

Pennsylvania
Casey, Robert P., Jr. (D-PA) – (202) 224-6324
Toomey, Patrick J. (R-PA) – (202) 224-4254

Rhode Island
Reed, Jack (D-RI) – (202) 224-4642
Whitehouse, Sheldon (D- RI) – (202) 224-2921

South Carolina
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC) – (202) 224-5972
Scott, Tim (R-SC) – (202) 224-6121

South Dakota
Johnson, Tim (D-SD) – (202) 224-5842
Thune, John (R-SD) – (202) 224-2321

Tennessee
Alexander, Lamar (R-TN) – (202) 224-4944
Corker, Bob (R-TN) – (202) 224-3344

Texas
Cornyn, John (R-TX) – (202) 224-2934
Cruz, Ted (R-TX) – (202) 224-5922

Utah
Hatch, Orrin G. (R-UT) – (202) 224-5251
Lee, Mike (R-UT) – (202) 224-5444

Vermont
Leahy, Patrick J. (D-VT) – (202) 224-4242
Sanders, Bernard (I-VT) – (202) 224-5141

Virginia
Kaine, Tim (D-VA) – (202) 224-4024
Warner, Mark R. (D-VA) – (202) 224-2023

Washington
Cantwell, Maria (D-WA) – (202) 224-3441
Murray, Patty (D-WA) – (202) 224-2621

West Virginia
Manchin, Joe, III (D-WV) – (202) 224-3954
Rockefeller, John D., IV (D-WV) – (202) 224-6472

Wisconsin
Baldwin, Tammy (D-WI) – (202) 224-5653
Johnson, Ron (R-WI) – (202) 224-5323

Wyoming
Barrasso, John (R-WY) – (202) 224-6441
Enzi, Michael B. (R-WY) – (202) 224-3424

 

 

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GOP lawmaker: Texas stabbings show folly of TSA knife plan

Posted on Apr 9, 2013

By Keith Laing, TheHill.com – 04/09/13 05:56 PM ET

rep-michael-grimmThe stabbing of 14 students at a Texas College showed why the Transportation Security Administration(TSA) should not allow knives onto airplanes, a Republican lawmaker said Tuesday.

A student at Lone Star College in The Woodlands, Texas allegedly stabbed multiple students at the school on Tuesday using a knife that is believed to be shorter than the 2.36 inch blades the TSA is planning to begin allowing on planes this month.

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) said Tuesday that the incident also showed the folly of TSA’s plan.

“Today’s stabbing incident at the Lone Star College is a horrific tragedy; however, it should serve as a wake-up call to the TSA,” Grimm said in a statement. “If a blade as small as an exacto knife can injure 14 students on a college campus, one can only imagine the extent of the damage in an enclosed aircraft cabin.

“From day one, I have strongly opposed TSA’s decision to lift the ban on knives on airplanes, and today’s incident only reaffirms my beliefs that more harm than good can come out of the decision,” Grimm continued. “I continue to fight in Congress to reinstate the ban, so that we can proactively prevent incidents like the one today within airplanes.”

TSA announced its decision to remove small knives from its prohibited items last month.

The agency has said allowing knives on planes will allow its airport security screeners to shift their attention from spotting them as banned objects to focusing on identifying potential explosive devices.

The implementation of the change would result in knives being allowed onto airplanes for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

TSA has cast the decision as an extension of its move from a “one-sized-fits-all” approach to airport security to a “risk-based” system where factors like a passenger’s criminal backgrounds are taken in account.

The decision to remove knives from the list of items TSA prohibits passengers from carrying onto flights has drawn intense criticism from lawmakers and unions for airline workers like pilots and flight attendants.

A group of 133 House members wrote a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole last month calling for him to reverse course on the knife policy. Additionally, a pair of senators have introduced a bill to force the agency to drop the plan to allow knives onto planes.

Despite the congressional criticism, TSA has said that it will implement the changes to its prohibited items list on April 25.

CALL TODAY: (202) 224-3121 and ask the Capitol switchboard operator to connect you with your Representatives. Tell your members of Congress to pass legislation that would ensure No Knives, Ever Again in the aircraft cabin.

Please call your member of Congress today.  Find Your Representative>>

 

Call Your Senator

Alabama

Sessions, Jeff (R-AL) – (202) 224-4124
Shelby, Richard C. (R-AL) – (202) 224-5744

Alaska

Begich, Mark (D-AK) – (202) 224-3004
Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK) – (202) 224-6665

Arizona
Flake, Jeff (R-AZ) – (202) 224-4521
McCain, John (R – AZ) – (202) 224-2235

Arkansas
Boozman, John (R-AR) – (202) 224-4843
Pryor, Mark L. (D-AR) – (202) 224-2353

California
Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) – (202) 224-3553
Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) – (202) 224-3841

Colorado
Bennet, Michael F. (D-CO) – (202) 224-5852
Udall, Mark (D-CO) – (202) 224-5941

Connecticut
Blumenthal, Richard (D-CT) – (202) 224-2823
Murphy, Christopher (D-CT) – (202) 224-4041

Delaware
Carper, Thomas R. (D-DE) – (202) 224-2441
Coons, Christopher A. (D-DE) – (202) 224-5042

Florida
Nelson, Bill (D-FL) – (202) 224-5274
Rubio, Marco (R-FL) – (202) 224-3041

Georgia
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA) – (202) 224-3521
Isakson, Johnny (R-GA) – (202) 224-3643

Hawaii
Hirono, Mazie K. (D-HI) – (202) 224-6361
Schatz, Brian (D-HI) – (202) 224-3934

Idaho
Crapo, Mike (R-ID) – (202) 224-6142
Risch, James E. (R-ID) – (202) 224-2752

Illinois
Durbin, Richard J. (D-IL) – (202) 224-2152
Kirk, Mark (R-IL) – (202) 224-2854

Indiana
Coats, Daniel (R-IN) – (202) 224-5623
Donnelly, Joe (D-IN) – (202) 224-4814

Iowa
Grassley, Chuck (R-IA) – (202) 224-3744
Harkin, Tom (D-IA) – (202) 224-3254

Kansas
Moran, Jerry (R-KS) – (202) 224-6521
Roberts, Pat (R-KS) – (202) 224-4774

Kentucky
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) – (202) 224-2541
Paul, Rand (R-KY) – (202) 224-4343

Louisiana
Landrieu, Mary L. (D-LA) – (202) 224-5824
Vitter, David (R-LA) – (202) 224-4623

Maine
Collins, Susan M. (R-ME) – (202) 224-2523
King, Angus S., Jr. (I-ME) – (202) 224-5344

Maryland
Cardin, Benjamin L. (D-MD) – (202) 224-4524
Mikulski, Barbara A. (D-MD) – (202) 224-4654

Massachusetts
Cowan, William M. (D-MA) – (202) 224-2742
Warren, Elizabeth (D-MA) – (202) 224-4543

Michigan
Levin, Carl (D-MI) – (202) 224-6221
Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI) – (202) 224-4822

Minnesota
Franken, Al (D-MN) – (202) 224-5641
Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN) – (202) 224-3244

Mississippi
Cochran, Thad (R-MS) – (202) 224-5054
Wicker, Roger F. (R-MS) – (202) 224-6253

Missouri
Blunt, Roy (R-MO) – (202) 224-5721
McCaskill, Claire (D-MO) – (202) 224-6154

Montana
Baucus, Max (D-MT) – (202) 224-2651
Tester, Jon (D-MT) – (202) 224-2644

Nebraska
Fischer, Deb (R-NE) – (202) 224-6551
Johanns, Mike (R-NE) – (202) 224-4224

Nevada
Heller, Dean (R-NV) – (202) 224-6244
Reid, Harry (D-NV) – (202) 224-3542

New Hampshire
Ayotte, Kelly (R-NH) – (202) 224-3324
Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NH) – (202) 224-2841

New Jersey
Lautenberg, Frank R. (D-NJ) – (202) 224-3224
Menendez, Robert (D-NJ) – (202) 224-4744

New Mexico
Heinrich, Martin (D-NM) – (202) 224-5521
Udall, Tom (D-NM) – (202) 224-6621

New York
Gillibrand, Kirsten E. (D-NY) – (202) 224-4451
Schumer, Charles E. (D-NY) – (202) 224-6542

North Carolina
Burr, Richard (R-NC) – (202) 224-3154
Hagan, Kay R. (D-NC) – (202) 224-6342

North Dakota
Heitkamp, Heidi (D-ND) – (202) 224-2043
Hoeven, John (R-ND) – (202) 224-2551

Ohio
Brown, Sherrod (D-OH) – (202) 224-2315
Portman, Rob (R-OH) – (202) 224-3353

Oklahoma
Coburn, Tom (R-OK) – (202) 224-5754
Inhofe, James M. (R-OK) – (202) 224-4721

Oregon
Merkley, Jeff (D-OR) – (202) 224-3753
Wyden, Ron (D-OR) – (202) 224-5244

Pennsylvania
Casey, Robert P., Jr. (D-PA) – (202) 224-6324
Toomey, Patrick J. (R-PA) – (202) 224-4254

Rhode Island
Reed, Jack (D-RI) – (202) 224-4642
Whitehouse, Sheldon (D- RI) – (202) 224-2921

South Carolina
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC) – (202) 224-5972
Scott, Tim (R-SC) – (202) 224-6121

South Dakota
Johnson, Tim (D-SD) – (202) 224-5842
Thune, John (R-SD) – (202) 224-2321

Tennessee
Alexander, Lamar (R-TN) – (202) 224-4944
Corker, Bob (R-TN) – (202) 224-3344

Texas
Cornyn, John (R-TX) – (202) 224-2934
Cruz, Ted (R-TX) – (202) 224-5922

Utah
Hatch, Orrin G. (R-UT) – (202) 224-5251
Lee, Mike (R-UT) – (202) 224-5444

Vermont
Leahy, Patrick J. (D-VT) – (202) 224-4242
Sanders, Bernard (I-VT) – (202) 224-5141

Virginia
Kaine, Tim (D-VA) – (202) 224-4024
Warner, Mark R. (D-VA) – (202) 224-2023

Washington
Cantwell, Maria (D-WA) – (202) 224-3441
Murray, Patty (D-WA) – (202) 224-2621

West Virginia
Manchin, Joe, III (D-WV) – (202) 224-3954
Rockefeller, John D., IV (D-WV) – (202) 224-6472

Wisconsin
Baldwin, Tammy (D-WI) – (202) 224-5653
Johnson, Ron (R-WI) – (202) 224-5323

Wyoming
Barrasso, John (R-WY) – (202) 224-6441
Enzi, Michael B. (R-WY) – (202) 224-3424

 

 

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No Knives – Call Congress Now

Posted on Apr 5, 2013

call-congress-nowKnives back on planes? We all hear the plea for keeping shoes on and shampoo in the carry-on, but who ever asked for knives? This week we got our answer. The knife lobby, representing a group of knife manufacturers, gloated that their efforts to lobby the TSA for years finally “paid off” and they were “instrumental” in getting the TSA to change the policy.  They even posted a picture from September 2012 where they were entering the TSA Headquarters near our country’s Capitol to speak with directly with TSA.  They further gloat about the call from TSA to inform them of the policy change before it was announced publicly.  Now they are on Capitol Hill fighting us.  So the TSA policy change is not about aviation security and it’s certainly not about the safety of crewmembers or the traveling public – it’s about corporate interests and their paid lobbyists.

We have to make sure knives are not allowed back on our planes. At great cost, we know the danger of lifting the ban on knives.

But, knives WILL be allowed in our aircraft cabin on April 25, 2013 if we don’t fight back now. TSA Administrator Pistole has said the only way he will back down is if Congress makes him. We need to flood Congressional offices with calls right now and every day until we achieve a law that ensures No Knives, Ever Again!

Dial (202) 224-3121 and ask the Capitol switchboard operator to connect you with your Representative.

When you call state:
“My name is _______ and I’m a Flight Attendant and constituent. I oppose the TSA plan to allow knives in the aircraft cabin. I would like my (Representative/Senator) to support bipartisan legislation to keep knives out of the aircraft cabin. Transportation security does not stop at the cockpit door.  Flight Attendants and passengers are not acceptable casualties in aviation security. Our country owes it to those we lost on 9/11 and all of us on the frontlines of aviation today – no knives, ever again.  Thank you.”

Your phone call will be answered by a member of the Representative’s staff who will note your request. They may ask for the name of your hometown, your zip code or your mailing address to verify you are a constituent.

The entire nation is watching this issue. We are leading the national debate on aviation security. Let’s show everyone that Flight Attendants will not back down. This will have lasting implications for every issue we face.  The time is now to demonstrate the strength we have by taking action together. No Knives, Ever Again.

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