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Nov 28, 2012
The TSA has refused to attend a House Transportation hearing this week, with agency head John Pistole personally refusing to appear and declaring that the Congressional Committee has “no jurisdiction over the TSA”.
The hearing, schedule for Thursday, will be held by the Subcommittee on Aviation, a part of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (TIC). It is titled HOW BEST TO IMPROVE OUR NATION’S AIRPORT PASSENGER SECURITY SYSTEM THROUGH COMMON SENSE SOLUTIONS.
Headed by Rep. Thomas Petri, it will “examine the impact that the regulations and policies of the Transportation Security Administration have on aviation passenger experience and the free flow of aviation commerce,” according to a brief on the subcommittee’s website (PDF).
The TIC’s website indicates that TSA head John Pistole has been asked to testify at the hearing. However, a statement issued on the TSA’s website made it clear that neither Pistole, nor any TSA official intends to attend the hearing.
Originally posted by 1BornPatriot
Link to the Request
TSA will continue to work with its committees of jurisdiction to pursue effective and efficient security solutions. In the 112th Congress alone, TSA witnesses have testified at 38 hearings and provided 425 briefings for Members of Congress.
For over a year, the Transportation Security Administration has ignored a court order requiring it to engage in a formal rule-making process regarding body-scanning machines at airports. On Wednesday, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit granted a request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center to compel the TSA to explain its actions.
Critics of the full-body scanners have questioned whether the machines protect the health and privacy of travelers, and whether the machines will prove effective at stopping terrorists. Ordinarily, those concerns would be raised during the formal rule-making process that federal agencies are required to conduct before they establish new regulations.
The TSA appears to believe these requirements do not apply to them.
Congress to Scrutinize TSA's "Scanner Shuffle" The House Subcommittee on Transportation Security is holding an oversight hearing this week, "TSA's Recent Scanner Shuffle: Real Strategy or Wasteful Smokescreen?" The hearing announcement follows a decision by the TSA to remove the backscatter x-ray devices from major US airports. In a statement for the record, EPIC highlighted public concerns about the use of body scanners, including health and privacy risks, and the failure of the TSA to take public comments on the program. In July 2011, the federal appeals court in Washington, DC ruled that that the Department of Homeland Security must "act promptly" to receive public comments.
For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of Body Scanner Program), EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology and Body Scanners ("Backscatter" X-Ray and Millimeter Wave Screening) and EPIC: EPIC: Body Scanner FAQ.
"By U.S. House of Representatives rules which state that the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has no jurisdiction over the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), no representative from TSA will be present at the Subcommittee on Aviation hearing scheduled for Nov. 29," Pistole said in a statement that was provided to The Hill after the meeting.
"TSA will continue to work with its committees of jurisdiction to pursue effective and efficient security solutions," Pistole continued. "In the 112th Congress alone, TSA witnesses have testified at 38 hearings and provided 425 briefings for Members of Congress."