Legislation was reintroduced last week to reportedly address deficiencies in the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) efforts to protect rail, transit, highway, and maritime passenger and freight transportation.
U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce, and Transportation, reintroduced S. 763, the Surface Transportation and Maritime Security Act, in conjunction with Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.; Deb Fischer, R-Neb.; and Cory Booker, D-N.J.
The legislation, which is very similar to the bill introduced late last Congress, “would address concerns raised by independent government watchdog agencies, that TSA is not adequately positioned to identify security risks across different modes of transportation or effectively support federal, state, local and private providers of transportation security,” according to a release issued by Sen. Thune’s office.
Highlights of the Surface Transportation and Maritime Security Act are that it would enhance risk-based security planning, provide canine explosive detection teams for Surface Transportation, increase transparency and enhance passenger rail security, Sen. Thune’s office said.
TSA previously told Congress it uses only 3 percent of its budget on surface transportation security.