Wednesday, Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Saks, announced that he was supporting three House Republican Homeland Security bills. Rogers also expressed concerns about a bill proposing changes to the TSA.
“Many of the bills we will consider today present effective solutions to important homeland security issues,” Rogers said in his opening statement during the markup. “I hope we can incorporate these and other bills into a robust DHS authorization product in the next few months. I wanted to briefly highlight the Republican bills on today’s agenda.”
Rep. Rogers said that, “HR5679 offered by Mr. Katko will help ensure steady and competent leadership at CISA by setting a statutory five-year term for its director. I thank the subcommittee Ranking Member for his leadership on this issue.”
“HR5670 offered by Mr. Bishop will enhance aviation security by improving the level of communication and coordination between the TSA and aviation stakeholders,” said Rogers. “I thank the gentleman for his strong work on this important issue.”
“HR5678 offered by our newest Member, Mr. Van Drew, will formally authorize the DHS office of privacy and strengthen the Department’s privacy policies,” Rogers added. “I commend the gentlemen for his efforts on this critical issue. I’m happy to support these three Republican bills, as well as legislation authored by the Chairman to improve coordination between DHS and our nation’s HBCUs.”
Rogers also said that he supported, “The bill from Ms. Torres-Small and Mr. Crenshaw requiring a plan to improve screening at our ports; and Legislation from Mr. Langevin and Mr. Katko authorizing critically needed administrative subpoena authority for CISA. I encourage all Members to support these bills.”
Rogers was not supportive of HR1140.
“The Transportation Security Administration’s mission is to protect the traveling public by securing America’s transportation systems,” Rogers said. “Since 2001, Congress has recognized that in order for TSA to successfully carry out its critical mission, it had to accommodate the agency’s unique operational needs.”
“When we passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, we gave TSA one-of-a-kind authorities to respond to evolving threats,” Rogers explained. We understood that flexibility was the key to an effective TSA. That’s why I am very concerned about the impact this bill will have on the security of our aviation system.”
“By moving the screener workforce under title 5, this bill would eliminate many of those critical flexibilities,” Rogers added. “For example, current law allows for a one-step removal process for employees guilty of significant misconduct, including those facing criminal prosecution.”
“TSA is empowered to immediately remove an employee if he or she intentionally allows guns or explosives through a checkpoint,’ Rogers continued. “Under this bill, that employee could remain on the TSA payroll for years.”
“Current law allows the TSA to move screeners between duty stations to alleviate crowds and long lines,” Rogers said. “Under this bill, that authority could be curtailed. Under current law, TSA can impose new security requirements, such as enhanced passenger screening when intelligence indicates credible threats. Under this bill, how those new security requirements are implemented could be subject to negotiation with the union.”
Congressman Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s Third Congressional District. He is the Ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee and a senior member of the Armed Services Committee. He has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for the last seventeen years. Rogers previously served in the Alabama House of Representatives and on the Calhoun County Commission. Rogers is formerly an attorney.