Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) urged airline passengers Sunday to not purposefully slow down airport security lines by refusing to go through body scanners.

Likely the next House Transportation Committee chairman, Mica said he could not support what has become known as National “Opt-Out” Day. During the busy Thanksgiving travel period, passengers may opt-out of the body scanners, which take naked body images, and instead choose to go under invasive pat-downs as an act of protest. That will then likely slow down security lines.

“I think the public needs to work with us. We will get it right,” Mica said on CNN’s "State of the Union." “I’m not going to support that but we need to get it right and we will.”


Mica criticized John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), for signing off the new invasive pat-down procedures. He said Pistole needs to change course because of the public outcry against the pat-downs.  

“I don’t think the rollout has been good and the application is even worse. This needs to be refined,” Mica said. “He says this is the only tool and I believe he’s wrong.”

Earlier on the program, however, Pistole said there are no plans to change the pat-down procedures. The TSA administrator said the tough screening protocols are necessary in order to protect Americans from terrorist threats, which he did not want to advertise to those wishing the United States harm.

“I did not want to provide a blueprint or roadmap for the terrorists, saying ‘Here are our new security procedures,’ ” Pistole said. The administrator called TSA “the last line of defense” for the U.S. government to stop terrorist attacks.

Nevertheless, Mica is not a fan of the agency. The incoming House Transportation Committee chairman believes TSA has become a bloated bureaucracy that is “headed in the wrong direction.”

“I have got a heck of a big overhead and I’m not getting the results that I should have,” Mica said.