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Bipartisan bill introduced to require TSA to take temperature checks

Bipartisan bill introduced to require TSA to take temperature checks
© David Tran/iStock

Reps. Ted BuddTheodore (Ted) Paul Budd42 GOP lawmakers press for fencing around Capitol to be removed READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results MORE (R-N.C.), Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanFallen Capitol Police officer to lie in honor in Rotunda Capitol Police back bill to allow officer to lie in honor Lawmakers seek approval for Capitol Police officer to lie in honor MORE (R-S.C.) and John Larson John Barry LarsonCOVID-19 damage to Social Security to extend beyond pandemic It's time for a grand agreement on Social Security What we need to do next to defeat COVID and unify the country MORE (D-Conn.) introduced legislation on Thursday to require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to conduct a pilot program for checking passengers’ temperatures at security checkpoints. 

The program would require the TSA to screen all airline passengers for their temperatures before they proceed through security.

“Reopening America should be the top priority of our government. Making sure air travelers are healthy enough to fly is a common sense way to boost passenger confidence and jumpstart economic activity,” Budd said in a statement.

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The bill announcement follows a letter Budd, Norman and several other Republican members of Congress sent to White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsHow scientists saved Trump's FDA from politics Liberals howl after Democrats cave on witnesses Kinzinger calls for people with info on Trump to come forward MORE earlier this month, asking for support on this issue.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske has defended the federal government’s decision not to take passengers’ temperatures at checkpoints, saying that temperature checks are not a guarantee that a passenger doesn’t have coronavirus.

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

Major airlines are expected to 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.