GOP lawmaker: TSA 'in violation' of accelerated military screening law

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The legislation Cravaack sponsored was signed by President Obama on Jan. 3.

Cravaack said the delay in its implementation meant TSA was "already in violation of the law.

"The bill didn’t restrict the plan to three airports; it’s tied to expedited security screening for members of our armed services at all airports," he said.

The freshman Minnesota lawmaker added that TSA needed to have expedited military screening "wherever our service members are flying.

"Just last week, I spoke to a service member who was asked to strip down to go through security — to remove boots and his service blouse — and another service member a few weeks before that," he said.

Cravaack's comments came during a second consecutive hearing of the Transportation Security panel that was critical of TSA. The panel held a hearing on Tuesday about challenging the "status quo" of aviation security.

TSA Assistant Administrator for Security Operations Christopher McLaughlin defended the agency's implementation of the military screening law, saying military members are already offered special treatment at airport security checkpoints.

"TSA has long provided expedited screening for members of our military," McLaughlin said in testimony submitted to the panel. "At airport checkpoints nationwide, U.S. service personnel in uniform with proper identification, whether traveling on official orders or not, are not required to remove their shoes or boots unless they alarm our technology.

"Other screening courtesies that we extend to U.S. military personnel traveling in uniform reduce the likelihood that they will receive a pat down or other additional screening," McLaughlin continued. "In addition, family members may obtain gate passes to accompany departing troops or meet their loved ones when they come home."

But the chairman of the transportation subcommittee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), said that was not enough.

"Right now active duty service members can use Pre-Check at Reagan Airport and Seattle Takoma Airport," Rogers said during Wednesday's hearing.

McLaughlin responded that TSA plans to have Pre-Check available for military personnel at all airports by the end of 2013.