By Keith Laing - 10/19/12 07:24 PM EDT
TSA employees are allowed to appeal disciplinary actions, but the decision to push for their removal was praised by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who has been vocally critical of the security process at Newark airport.
"This TSA corrective action will help address the recurring problems at Newark Airport and close security gaps to keep the airport and passengers safe," Lautenberg said in a statement released by his office. "TSA has taken meaningful steps to improve performance and I will keep working to ensure all TSA employees are properly managed, trained and equipped to keep Newark Airport secure."
Newark is the largest airport in Lautenberg's state, and he has said the security problems at the facility have given him a feeling of "deja vu" following previous reports of luggage being improperly checked.
Republicans were far less charitable, however, arguing that TSA's problems were not limited to the Newark airport.
“The unfortunate parade of TSA failures quietly announced at the very end of the week continues," House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said in a statement.
"Earlier this month, we learned that nearly 50 TSA employees were fired, suspended or otherwise left their jobs for failing to properly screen checked baggage at Honolulu International Airport," Mica continued. "Clearly, this is not a Newark problem or a Honolulu problem, or a problem isolated to one or two airports."
Mica added he blamed the TSA's management for the security issues at both the Hawaii and New Jersey airports.
"I lay the blame at TSA, because it’s a bureaucracy that doesn’t know how to manage an army of 65,000 employees," he said. “When are we going to learn that the problem is that this massive, bloated bureaucracy is in need of dramatic reform? Every new security lapse, each one worse than the previous, demonstrates more that this agency is in disarray, and we must transform the TSA from a vast and unsuccessful human resources operation into a true security agency.”
- This story was updated with new information at 3:38 p.m.