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House Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks

House Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks
© David Tran/iStock

Rep. Ted BuddTheodore (Ted) Paul BuddThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden to country: 'Turning peril into possibility' Budd to run for Senate in NC GOP senator introduces bill to make DC part of Maryland MORE (R-N.C.) and several other Republican members of Congress are calling for the White House to support a new policy that would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to check the temperatures of all airline passengers at security checkpoints.

Budd led a letter to White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Stephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits A year with the coronavirus: How we got here MORE on Wednesday asking for support for this temporary policy. 

“Having TSA temporarily screen passengers for elevated temperatures, while ensuring that travelers with unrelated medical issues causing elevated temperatures can still travel, has a number of practical advantages,” they wrote.

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They said temperature checks would provide a disincentive to travel for people who know they may be sick and give an extra layer of protection to increase the safety of air travel as well as traveler confidence. They also said temperature checks would be a helpful addition to the TSA’s toolkit for preparedness for any future pandemics.

The letter was signed by Republican Reps. Bill PoseyWilliam (Bill) Joseph PoseyLawmakers call on Biden to put billion toward coastal restoration Stop COVID unemployment benefits for prisoners and recoup billions in fraud READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (Fla.), Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanVirginia GOP candidates for governor gear up for convention Republicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' Former GOP lawmaker calls idea of 'America First' caucus 'racism in a jar' MORE (Va.), Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisGOP doctors in Congress release video urging people to get vaccinated Heated argument erupts after Rep. Mondaire Jones calls GOP objections to DC statehood 'racist trash' Conservative House members call on Senate to oppose ATF nominee MORE (Md.), Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyFive takeaways on the House's return to budget earmarks Hillicon Valley: Tech companies duke it out at Senate hearing | Seven House Republicans vow to reject donations from Big Tech Seven House Republicans vow to reject donations from Big Tech MORE (Texas), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarGaetz, House Republicans introduce bill to defund Postal Service covert operations program 136 Republicans get Fs in accountability rankings from anti-Trump GOP group House rejects GOP resolution to censure Waters MORE (Ariz.), Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanLiz Cheney says McConnell, McCarthy are heads of GOP Female Republicans 'horrified' by male GOP lawmaker's description of Cheney: report Hillicon Valley: Tech companies duke it out at Senate hearing | Seven House Republicans vow to reject donations from Big Tech MORE (S.C.), Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoOcasio-Cortez: 'No consequences' in GOP for violence, racism 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics Why AOC should be next to lead the DNC MORE (Fla.), David SchweikertDavid SchweikertBiden meets with bipartisan senators to discuss potential infrastructure bill Lawmakers offer competing priorities for infrastructure plans The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Which path will Democrats take on COVID-19 bill? MORE (Ariz.), Randy WeberRandall (Randy) Keith WeberTexas Republicans condemn state Democrats for response to official calling Scott an 'Oreo' House Republicans ask Pelosi to reschedule Biden's address to Congress McCarthy seeks shift from party's civil war MORE (Texas), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceAtlanta Democrat announces bid for Georgia secretary of state Loeffler asks Georgia attorney general to investigate Raffensperger over 2020 election Heated argument erupts after Rep. Mondaire Jones calls GOP objections to DC statehood 'racist trash' MORE (Ga.), and Michael Cloud (Texas). 

However, TSA Administrator David Pekoske defended the federal government’s decision not to take passengers’ temperatures at checkpoints on Tuesday.

“Temperature checks are not a guarantee that passengers that don’t have an elevated temperature don’t have COVID-19,” Pekoske said.

He added, though, that no decision has been made on whether the government will conduct temperature checks, echoing previous statements from the agency.

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Airlines for America, which represents and advocates for major U.S. airlines, has requested the temperature check policy.

The advocacy group announced on Monday that major airlines will start requiring passengers to complete a health acknowledgment form during check-in for a flight, which encourages passengers to evaluate their own health before traveling. 

The form asks the passenger if they are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, including a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.