Week ahead: TSA returns to the hot seat on security threats

Week ahead: TSA returns to the hot seat on security threats
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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be back in the hot seat this week as lawmakers return to Washington and turn their sights to one of their favorite targets. 

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Wednesday about the TSA’s plans to adapt to new airport security threats. 

The hearing comes as the TSA is facing questions about failing to stop a teenager from stowing away on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii over the weekend. 

The Senate panel said that the Wednesday meeting would "examine the TSA's efforts to implement new procedures to confront the evolving security threats to America’s transportation systems.

"Despite significant success in fighting global terrorism in the years since September 11th, our nation continues to face security threats to its transportation network," the committee said in release about the hearing. 

"Although the TSA has made substantial progress in addressing these threats, terrorists continually adapt their tactics to account for new security measures," the statement continued. "To effectively counter evolving threats, the TSA has focused on developing a layered, risk-based approach to security." 

TSA Administrator John Pistole is scheduled to testify at the hearing, which will be chaired by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). 

As their colleagues are returning to the Capitol, lawmakers on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will be hitting the road as the panel holds a field hearing Monday about “federal regulation of waters and impacts of the [Obama] administration’s overreach on local economies and jobs.” 

The hearing, which will be chaired by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), will take place in Altoona, Pa. 

Officials with the House transportation panel said the hearing would focus on the “potential impacts of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to significantly broaden federal power to regulate waters and wet areas, and on the effects of tightened Corps of Engineers permitting requirements for stream crossings of natural gas collector lines constructed in Pennsylvania.” 

The hearing comes as lawmakers are conducting bicameral conference negotiations about an $8.2 billion water infrastructure bill that is designed to boost the nation’s ports and waterways. 

The measure, known as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), has been stalled in conference since the beginning of the year.