A pair of Republican House bills is aimed at improving the Transportation Secretary Administration’s (TSA) response to airport emergencies and its investigations of potential criminal threats.
The measures, sponsored by freshman Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), are “designed to enhance airport security measures in a cost-effective manner,” according to the New York lawmaker’s office.
Katko said the emergency response measure was filed in response to a 2013 shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport that resulted in the first on-duty fatality of a TSA employee.
Katko’s first measure, H.R. 719, is known as the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act. The measure would require TSA agents to “spend at least 50 percent of their time investigating, apprehending, or detaining individuals suspected of committing a crime,” according to Katko’s office.
The second measure, H.R. 720, is known as the Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act in honor of the deceased LAX worker. The measure “directs the Department of Homeland Security to undertake a variety of activities to enhance security and communication at domestic airports, specifically requiring TSA to verify that all airports have appropriate security response plans,” Katko’s office said.