Bush to the Traveling Public: “Fuck off, Chumps!”

Airport chiefs: Proposed screener cuts a bad idea

By Thomas Frank, USA TODAY
Airline passengers will face longer airport security lines starting this fall if Congress goes through with plans to cut up to 13% of the nation’s checkpoint screeners, a top Transportation Security Administration official said Thursday.

Thomas Blank, TSA’s acting deputy administrator, said the Homeland Security Department is fighting a Senate spending measure that would cut 6,000 of the agency’s 45,000 screeners.

The House voted to cut 2,000 screeners in the budget that takes effect Oct. 1, Blank told a Capitol Hill hearing.

Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees Homeland Security funding, disputed Blank’s figures and said the House is not cutting any screeners but is cutting unnecessary management costs.

Airport directors predicted enormous lines if 6,000 screeners are cut as air travel hits record levels. (Screener redistribution at all U.S. airports: Atlanta-Monterey | Montrose County-Yuma)

“There’s no one who’s going to get through a checkpoint in 10 minutes,” William DeCota, aviation director at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports, said afterward.

Ben DeCosta, manager of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, said the TSA told him Tuesday that the airport would lose several hundred screeners under the Senate plan.

“I’m concerned that the lines would be over an hour and would go around the building, through baggage claim, out the door and down the sidewalks,” DeCosta said.

Blank told the panel that “very crowded airport lobbies are a security threat” because so many people could be an inviting target for terrorists.

SCREENER REDISTRIBUTION
Annual reallocation of security screeners at major airports by the Transportation Security Administration.
Airport Current New Change
Atlanta 1,082 1,061 -21
Logan (Boston) 796 856 60
Baltimore-
Washington
654 734 80
Charlotte 320 266 -54
Cincinnati 336 286 -50
Washington-
National
411 415 4
Denver 725 709 -16
Dallas/Forth Worth 1,388 1,362 -26
Detroit 877 784 -93
Newark (New Jersey) 1,320 1,281 -39
Honolulu 648 663 15
Washington-
Dulles
645 724 79
Intercontinental (Houston) 868 1,019 151
Kennedy
(New York)
1,844 1,682 -162
McCarran (Las Vegas) 832 1,079 247
Los Angeles 2,037 2,157 120
LaGuardia
(New York)
752 828 76
Orlando 1,035 936 -99
Miami 1,651 1,698 47
Minneapolis 720 690 -30
O’Hare
(Chicago)
1,577 1,571 -6
Philadelphia 752 777 25
Phoenix 920 883 -37
Seattle 964 1,000 36
San Juan
(Puerto Rico)
475 415 -60
Lambert
(St. Louis)
440 347 -93
Note: San Francisco screeners are not part of TSA.

On a personal note, I will say that the last 5 times I’ve been through DFW, the security lines were already disturbingly long. So I’m sure that the cuts will help that a lot.

It’s a relief to see that our venerable Republican Congress will be exempting themselves from the danger and inconvenience they’re creating for the rest of us; I note that National, Dulles and Baltimore-Washington will experience a net gain.

The Republican Party: Making America Less Safe, Less Free, More Inconvenient and More Expensive Since 2000!

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