Long lines will not shift the Transportation Security Administration's focus from security, the secretary of Homeland Security said Friday.

“Well, first of all, in the face of increased travel volume, we are not going to compromise airport security,” Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson said on “CBS This Morning.”


“We are going to keep passengers moving this weekend, but we’re also going to keep them safe,” added Johnson. That is our principle responsibility. That is the principle responsibility of the TSA.”

CBS News on Friday reported that 2.6 million people are traveling through airports nationwide this Memorial Day weekend.

Johnson said that the TSA is working to alleviate travel delays in light of those projections, adding that they mark unprecedented totals.

“A year ago, we refocused and rededicated ourselves to aviation security based on world events, based on findings of our inspector general, which really were significant,” he said. "So, a year ago, I told TSA to refocus on aviation security, and a year ago, I said that this would lead to more wait times at airports.

“Couple that with the fact that we’ve seen record numbers of air travelers, and that has led to longer, unexpected wait times at some of the nation’s busiest airports at certain times of the day. We are now surging resources to accommodate that.”

Johnson added that he is pressuring lawmakers to let the TSA morph its part-time employees into full-time ones for the travel boom.

“The more critical thing, however, the more immediate need, is converting people from part-time to full-time,” he said.

“I asked Congress for authorization to do that yesterday. We’ve already begun that process, but there’s a lot more we can do. We’re bringing those people on as quickly as we can and we expect to have them on-board by mid-June.”

The TSA on Thursday urged Congress to approve a $28 million funding shift in the agency’s current budget.

Johnson said that the extra cash would help it convert 2,784 transportation security officers from part-time to full-time at 20 of the nation’s busiest airports. Such a move would help the agency screen an additional 82,000 passengers daily.