Rep. Chaffetz seeks to limit pat-downs of children after new TSA controversy

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Wednesday introduced legislation that would prohibit Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials from conducting pat-downs on minors without consent from a parent. 

Chaffetz's bill, H.R. 1510, was spurred by video footage posted online over the weekend of a 6-year-old girl being patted down at an airport gate by a TSA official as her mother objected.

Chaffetz wrote to TSA chief John Pistole on Wednesday to complain about what he called an "invasive pat-down at the hands of TSA personnel."

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"I am personally outraged and disgusted by yet another example of mistreatment of an innocent American at the hands of TSA," Chaffetz wrote. "This conduct is in clear violation of TSA's explicit policy not to conduct thorough pat-downs on children under the age of 13."

Chaffetz, who chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, warned Pistole that he would be introducing legislation, and said the agency "must get serious" about how it tries to balance national security and personal privacy.

"At the very least, it cannot continue to operate under the belief that little girls and handicapped children pose such a serious threat that [TSA officials] must abandon all manner of decency when interacting with them," he wrote.

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