Durbin: One percent of holiday travelers objected to screening

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) defended the TSA's new invasive screening and pat-down procedures Sunday, saying only about 1 percent of air passengers over Thanksgiving objected to the screening.

"When you get on an airplane with your family, you want to know that the government has done everything in its power to keep us safe," Durbin said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"After all of this furor" with people being "tied in knots" over the pat-downs, the holiday complaint ratio was low, he said.

"It is not an easy assignment for the TSA to say 'keep us safe, but don't go too far,'" Durbin said. "We do not want an air disaster because we have gone too far in bending toward some public opinion poll."

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), appearing on the same program, said "there are some other things that can be done" that "focus more on the person than on the weapon."

Kyl said the U.S. should take cues from other countries that have used profiling not to discriminate against certain religions, etc., but to judge through questioning and other methods regarding who might need a second screening.

"There are a lot of things that could be done to reduce the impact," he said, noting that the Netherlands uses a mannequin cover on the body scans that protect privacy while still revealing weapons.

The goal should be to "back off patting down — the old saying — little old ladies and kids," Kyl said.