House panel passes bill to force TSA to donate spare change

TSA has reported that it found more than $400,000 in 2011 that was left behind by passengers at airport security checkpoints. Historically, if no one comes back to get the leftover money, it stays with the TSA.

Miller is chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. He has argued against the tradition of TSA keep the leftover money long before Wednesday's hearing for his bill, which would require TSA to donate the spare change to United Service Organizations.

"I would much rather see unclaimed change go to help military personnel on their way to and from the battlefield,” he said Wednesday.  “The lost change should be put to good use, and I know the USO will make those thousands of coins have a positive impact on millions of our nation’s warriors.  

House Transportation Security Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) agreed.

“It would be a positive change to see that money spent each year on providing a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere at airports for our dedicated men and women of the Armed Services," he said at the beginning of Wednesday's hearing.

Rodgers added that the spare change bill would mark "the second time a bill in this Congress…would improve the nation’s airports to better accommodate and support our military personnel."

TSA has said its policy is not to comment on legislation that pending that affects its agency.
The spare change bill goes now to the full House Homeland Security Committee.