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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 BuddREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results Growing number of GOP lawmakers back Electoral College challenge 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 MeadowsAuthor: Meadows is history's worst White House chief of staff Agency official says Capitol riot hit close to home for former Transportation secretary Chao Republicans wrestle over removing Trump 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 PoseyREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results OVERNIGHT ENERGY: 20 states sue over Trump rule limiting states from blocking pipeline projects | House Democrats add 'forever chemicals' provisions to defense bill after spiking big amendment | Lawmakers seek extension for tribes to spend stimulus money House Democrats add some 'forever chemicals' provisions to defense bill after spiking major amendment MORE (Fla.), Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanFormer Republican congressman: 'Impeachment is necessary' Outgoing GOP congressman criticizes Hawley for fundraising off Electoral College challenge Virginia county Republicans condemn GOP congressman for considering vote for Biden MORE (Va.), Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisAn attack on America that's divided Congress — and a nation Here are the House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack MORE (Md.), Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyWyoming county votes to censure Liz Cheney for Trump impeachment vote GOP divided over Liz Cheney's future Trust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots MORE (Texas), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarCruz, Cornyn to attend Biden inauguration Trust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots House conservatives plot to oust Liz Cheney MORE (Ariz.), Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results Top GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee MORE (S.C.), Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott Yoho7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics Why AOC should be next to lead the DNC Ocasio-Cortez defends Biden's incoming deputy chief of staff amid blowback MORE (Fla.), David SchweikertDavid SchweikertREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit House GOP proposed rules change sparks concern MORE (Ariz.), Randy WeberRandall (Randy) Keith WeberREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results House rebuffs GOP lawmaker's effort to remove references to Democrats in Capitol Hillicon Valley: Judge's ruling creates fresh hurdle for TikTok | House passes bills to secure energy sector against cyberattacks | Biden campaign urges Facebook to remove Trump posts spreading 'falsehoods' MORE (Texas), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceGeorgia elections chief refutes election claims in letter to Congress READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Pence 'welcomes' efforts of lawmakers to 'raise objections' to Electoral College results 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.