(Washington, DC) —Today, bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04) and Rep. Kirkpatrick (AZ-02) passed in the House Homeland Security Committee mark-up. The legislation would provide expedited security screening under Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pre® to certain qualified, severely injured or disabled Veterans.
There are approximately 70,000 Veterans with an amputee and over 130,000 Veterans who are legally blind in the United States. This legislation would include veterans that may have limb loss, paralysis, blindness, and require use of wheelchair, prosthetic or assistive device to aid mobility. Many veterans experience challenges as they travel through airport security with their wheelchair, prosthetics or other assistive devices.
“Traveling through airport security can be challenging. America’s veterans who suffer from a disabling condition should not have to worry about security screenings,” said Rep. Gosar. “Under this legislation, severely injured veterans would be eligible for TSA Pre Check free of charge. This benefit is similar to what is already offered to Active Duty, Reserves, and National Guard servicemembers. Easing the travel experience of America’s veterans is the very least we can do to honor their sacrifice to our country.”
“We hope that this legislation will help make the lives of our veterans a little bit easier,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “These are individuals who have sacrificed so much for us and for our country, and they deserve the best treatment available, especially in high-stress environments like airports. By getting them, this improved treatment at no additional cost, we are able to give just a little back to those who gave so much.”
“The Veterans Expedited TSA Screening Safe Travel Act will provide many severely injured and disabled veterans a more dignified experience when passing through security checkpoints at our nation’s airports,” said Lt. Gen. (ret.) Mike Linnington, CEO of Wounded Warrior Project. “On the behalf of the millions of American veterans whose lives we aim to improve, we thank Rep. Gosar and Rep. Kirkpatrick for their concern and leadership on this important issue, and for their great fidelity to our nation’s veterans.”
Additionally, TSA advises severely disabled Veterans to use TSA Pre® in conjunction with the existing TSA Cares hotline. TSA Cares provides passengers with disabilities and medical needs another resource to use before they fly, so they know what to expect
when going through the screening process.
Rep. Gosar’s legislation has been endorsed by the Honor Flight Network, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Sen. Young and Sen. Duckworth have introduced the Senate version of this bill, TSA Safe Screening Act
9 original co-sponsors joined Congressman Gosar in introducing this legislation including: Ann Kirkpatrick, Mark Meadows, David Rouzer, Andy Harris, Greg Pence, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, W. Gregory Steube, Doug LaMalfa, and Michael Waltz.