House passes bill to ensure breast milk is allowed on airplanes

House passes bill to ensure breast milk is allowed on airplanes
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House lawmakers Tuesday easily passed a bill ensuring that passengers traveling with infants can bring baby bottles and breast milk through airport security.

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Under current screening guidelines, caretakers are already permitted to pack baby formula, breast milk, juice and breastfeeding equipment in their carry-on luggage.

But bill sponsors say that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners are still making some passengers throw out much-needed formula and equipment at checkpoints. The inconsistent policies are causing travel interruptions, broken equipment and wasted food, supporters say.

“Air travel can present unique challenges for parents, especially traveling with infants,” Rep. Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration 13 House Republicans who bucked Trump on emergency declaration House votes to overturn Trump's emergency declaration MORE (R-Wash.) said in a statement.

“While TSA already has guidelines in place allowing parents to take breast milk, bottles, and feeding equipment through security and on-board the aircraft, there have been too many instances reported by parents where TSA officials did not know how to properly handle these items, which led to parents and families receiving harassment-like scrutiny.”

The measure – which passed the full House by voice vote — would require the Department of Homeland Security to make sure that air carriers and TSA screening personnel are better informed about the rules allowing certain liquids and feeding equipment for travelers with infants.

The bill also would require training for personnel on all special procedures under TSA's travel guidelines, so that employees can more consistently enforce screening protocols.

“Through better training, TSA can make sure that families aren’t being penalized simply for traveling with equipment necessary to feed their infants,” Herrera Beutler said.