[House Report 114-220]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
114th Congress ] [ Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session ] [ 114-220
SECURING EXPEDITED SCREENING ACT
July 22, 2015.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. McCaul, from the Homeland Security, submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 2127]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred
the bill (H.R. 2127) to direct the Administrator of the
Transportation Security Administration to limit access to
expedited airport security screening at an airport security
checkpoint to participants of the PreCheck program and other
known low-risk passengers, and for other purposes, having
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
Purpose and Summary.............................................. 3
Background and Need for Legislation.............................. 4
Committee Consideration.......................................... 5
Committee Votes.................................................. 5
Committee Oversight Findings..................................... 6
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures 6
Congressional Budget Office Estimate............................. 6
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............ 7
Duplicative Federal Programs..................................... 7
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff
Federal Mandates Statement....................................... 7
Preemption Clarification......................................... 7
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings.............................. 8
Advisory Committee Statement..................................... 8
Applicability to Legislative Branch.............................. 8
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation................... 8
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............ 9
The amendment is as follows:
Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Securing Expedited Screening Act''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) The Aviation and Transportation Security Act (Public Law
107-71) authorized the Transportation Security Administration
to ``establish requirements to implement trusted passenger
programs and use available technologies to expedite the
security screening of passengers who participate in such
programs, thereby allowing security screening personnel to
focus on those passengers who should be subject to more
(2) In October 2011, the Transportation Security
Administration began piloting the PreCheck program in which a
limited number of passengers who were participants in the
frequent flyer programs of domestic air carriers were directed
to special screening lanes for expedited security screening.
(3) In December 2013, the Transportation Security
Administration opened the PreCheck program to eligible
passengers who submit biographic and biometric information for
a security risk assessment.
(4) Today, expedited security screening is provided to
passengers who, in general, are members of populations
identified by the Administrator of the Transportation Security
Administration as presenting a low risk to aviation security,
including members of populations known and vetted by the
Administrator or through another Department of Homeland
Security trusted traveler program, and to passengers who are
selected by expedited screening on a case-by-case basis through
the Transportation Security Administration's Managed Inclusion
process and other procedures.
(5) According to the Transportation Security Administration,
the Managed Inclusion process ``combines the use of multiple
layers of security to indirectly conduct a real-time assessment
of passengers'' through the use of Passenger Screening Canine
teams, Behavior Detection Officers, Explosives Trace Detection
(ETD) machines, and other activities.
(6) In December 2014, the Comptroller General of the United
States concluded in a report entitled ``Rapid Growth in
Expedited Passenger Screening Highlights Need to Plan Effective
Security Assessments'' that ``it will be important for TSA to
evaluate the security effectiveness of the Managed Inclusion
process as a whole, to ensure that it is functioning as
intended and that passengers are being screened at a level
commensurate with their risk''.
(7) On March 16, 2015, the Inspector General of the
Department of Homeland Security released a report entitled
``Allegation of Granting Expedited Screening through TSA
PreCheck Improperly'', in which the Inspector General
determined that the Transportation Security Administration
granted expedited security screening at a PreCheck security
lane to a passenger who had served time in prison for felonies
committed as a member of a domestic terrorist group and who was
not a participant in the PreCheck program.
SEC. 3. LIMITATION; PRECHECK OPERATIONS MAINTAINED; ALTERNATE METHODS.
(a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (d), not later than
180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator
of the Transportation Security Administration shall direct that access
to expedited airport security screening at an airport security
checkpoint be limited to only the following:
(1) A passenger who voluntarily submits biographic and
biometric information for a security risk assessment and whose
application for the PreCheck program has been approved, or a
passenger who is a participant in another trusted or registered
traveler program of the Department of Homeland Security.
(2) A passenger traveling pursuant to section 44903 of title
49, United States Code (as established under the Risk-Based
Security for Members of the Armed Forces Act (Public Law 112-
86)), section 44927 of such title (as established under the
Helping Heroes Fly Act (Public Law 113-27)), or section 44928
of such title (as established under the Honor Flight Act
(Public Law 113-221)).
(3) A passenger who did not voluntarily submit biographic and
biometric information for a security risk assessment but is a
member of a population designated by the Administrator of the
Transportation Security Administration as known and low-risk
and who may be issued a unique, known traveler number by the
Administrator determining that such passenger is a member of a
category of travelers designated by the Administrator as known
(b) PreCheck Operations Maintained.--In carrying out subsection (a),
the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall
ensure that expedited airport security screening remains available to
passengers at or above the level that exists on the day before the date
of the enactment of this Act.
(c) Minors and Seniors.--The Administrator of the Transportation
Security Administration may provide access to expedited airport
security screening at an airport security checkpoint to a passenger who
(1) 75 years old or older; or
(2) 12 years old or under and who is traveling with a parent
or guardian who is a participant in the PreCheck program.
(d) Frequent Fliers.--If the Administrator of the Transportation
Security Administration determines that such is appropriate, the date
specified in subsection (a) may be extended by up to one year to
implement such subsection with respect to the population of passengers
who did not voluntarily submit biographic and biometric information for
security risk assessments but who nevertheless receive expedited
airport security screening because such passengers are designated as
frequent fliers by air carriers. If the Administrator uses the
authority provided by this subsection, the Administrator shall notify
the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and
the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate of
such phased-in implementation.
(e) Alternate Methods.--The Administrator of the Transportation
Security Administration may provide access to expedited airport
security screening to additional passengers pursuant to an alternate
method upon the submission to the Committee on Homeland Security of the
House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and
Transportation of the Senate of an independent assessment of the
security effectiveness of such alternate method that is conducted by an
independent entity that determines that such alternate method is
(1) reliably and effectively identify passengers who likely
pose a low risk to the United States aviation system;
(2) mitigate the likelihood that a passenger who may pose a
security threat to the United States aviation system is
selected for expedited security screening; and
(3) address known and evolving security risks to the United
States aviation system.
(f) Information Sharing.--The Administrator of the Transportation
Security Administration shall provide to the entity conducting the
independent assessment under subsection (c) effectiveness testing
results that are consistent with established evaluation design
practices, as identified by the Comptroller General of the United
SEC. 4. REPORTING.
Not later than three months after the date of the enactment of this
Act and annually thereafter, the Administrator of the Transportation
Security Administration shall report to the Committee on Homeland
Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation of the Senate on the percentage of all
passengers who are provided expedited security screening, and of such
passengers so provided, the percentage who are participants in the
PreCheck program (who have voluntarily submitted biographic and
biometric information for security risk assessments), the percentage
who are participants in another trusted traveler program of the
Department of Homeland Security, the percentage who are participants in
the PreCheck program due to the Administrator's issuance of known
traveler numbers, and for the remaining percentage of passengers
granted access to expedited security screening in PreCheck security
lanes, information on the percentages attributable to each alternative
method utilized by the Transportation Security Administration to direct
passengers to expedited airport security screening at PreCheck security
SEC. 5. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
Nothing in this Act may be construed to--
(1) authorize or direct the Administrator of the
Transportation Administration to reduce or limit the
availability of expedited security screening at an airport; or
(2) limit the authority of the Administrator to use
technologies and systems, including passenger screening canines
and explosives trace detection, as a part of security screening
PURPOSE AND SUMMARY
The purpose of H.R. 2127 is to direct the Administrator of
the Transportation Security Administration to limit access to
expedited airport security screening at an airport security
checkpoint to participants of the PreCheck program and other
known low-risk passengers, and for other purposes.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
The Subcommittee on Transportation Security held a hearing
on March 25, 2015 to examine the TSA PreCheck program,
including the use of alternate methods for incorporating
passengers into PreCheck. Additionally, reports highlighting
security vulnerabilities with these methods have been issued by
both the Government Accountability Office Report, ``Rapid
Growth in Expedited Passenger Screening Highlights Need to Plan
Effective Security Assessments'' (GAO-15-150) and the DHS OIG
report ``Security Enhancements Needed to the
PreTM Initiative'' (DHS IG-15-29).
Managed Inclusion (MI) is intended to conduct a ``real-
time'' threat assessment to identify passengers who are
eligible for TSA PreCheck on a flight-by-flight basis through
the use of already-present layers of security at the airports
such as passenger screening canine teams, explosives trace
detection technology, and behavior detection officers. However,
travelers who experience expedited screening through MI are not
subject to a criminal history background check, have not paid
for TSA PreCheck unlike other passengers, are often unaware of
the reason they are receiving expedited screening, and are
generally not encouraged to enroll in TSA PreCheck during the
experience. MI may help reduce wait times and increase
utilization of TSA PreCheck lanes, but it has not been tested
or proven to improve the experience of travelers or reduce
risks to aviation. On the contrary, passengers who go through
the TSA PreCheck enrollment process and pay $85 for expedited
screening are not seeing the benefits that were promised to
them, this is because passengers who did not enroll and are
unfamiliar with TSA PreCheck are being ushered into those
expedited screening lanes.
In October 2013, TSA began applying PreCheck risk
assessment rules in Secure Flight (watch-list matching) to
identify and increase the percentage of passengers screened
through the PreCheck screening process. TSA's Risk Assessment
program uses its Secure Flight system to identify travelers on
a flight-by-flight basis who may be eligible for expedited
screening by using previously collected information that is
already provided to TSA by the airlines. Passengers who are a
match to a watch-list will continue to receive the appropriate
screening. For all other passengers, the analysis of this data
will determine whether passengers will receive expedited or
standard screening. Just like with MI, travelers who experience
expedited screening through Risk Assessment are not subject to
a criminal history background check. However, in contrast to MI
participants, passengers who are eligible for PreCheck through
Risk Assessment are not required to undergo screening by
passenger screening canine teams or explosives trace detection
This legislation requires TSA to restrict its use of these
alternate methods of diverting passengers into PreCheck, unless
the agency can demonstrate that such methods have been tested
and proven to be effective security tools. In turn, this will
close concerning security vulnerabilities with the program and
prioritize enrollment in the PreCheck program.
On March 14, 2013, the Subcommittee on Transportation
Security held a hearing entitled ``TSA's Efforts to Advance
Risk-Based Security.'' The Subcommittee received testimony from
Hon. John S. Pistole, Administrator, Transportation Security
Administration, Department of Homeland Security.
The Subcommittee on Transportation Security held a second
hearing on April 11, 2013, entitled ``TSA's Efforts to Advance
Risk-Based Security: Stakeholder Perspectives.'' The
Subcommittee received testimony from Mr. Ken Dunlap, Global
Director, Security & Travel Facilitation, International Air
Transport Association; Ms. Sharon L. Pinkerton, Senior Vice
President, Legislative and Regulatory Policy, Airlines for
America; Mr. Geoff Freeman, Chief Operating Officer and
Executive Vice President, U.S. Travel Association; Mr. Michael
C. Mullen, Executive Director, Express Association of America;
Mr. Christopher U. Browne, Airport Manager, Washington Dulles
International Airport, testifying on behalf of the American
Association of Airport Executives; and Mr. David A. Borer,
General Counsel, American Federation of Government Employees.
This hearing was the second in a two-part.
On March 25, 2015, the Subcommittee on Transportation
Security held a hearing entitled ``Risk-Based Security:
Assessing the Path Forward for TSA PreTM.''
The Subcommittee received testimony from Hon. John Roth,
Inspector General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Mr.
Kenneth Fletcher, Chief Risk Officer, Transportation Security
Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and Ms.
Jennifer Grover, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, U.S.
Government Accountability Office.
The Committee met on June 23, 2015, to consider H.R. 2127,
and ordered the measure to be reported to the House with a
favorable recommendation, amended, by voice vote. The Committee
took the following actions:
The following amendments were offered:
An amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by Mr.
Thompson of Mississippi (#1); was AGREED TO, as amended, by
An amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute
offered by Mr. Katko (#1); was AGREED TO by voice vote.
Page 4, line 13, insert ``or registered'' after ``trusted''.
Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments
No recorded vote were requested during consideration of
COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS
Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, the Committee has held oversight
hearings and made findings that are reflected in this report.
NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT AUTHORITY, AND TAX EXPENDITURES
In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R.
2127, the Securing Expedited Screening Act, would result in no
new or increased budget authority, entitlement authority, or
tax expenditures or revenues.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE
The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, July 17, 2015.
Hon. Michael McCaul,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2127, the Securing
Expedited Screening Act.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan
Carroll, who can be reached at 226-2860.
H.R. 2127--Securing Expedited Screening Act
H.R. 2127 would require the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA), which is responsible for screening
passengers at airport security checkpoints, to limit access to
expedited screening processes to certain individuals. Under the
bill, only passengers who are members of a TSA trusted traveler
program, the military, or a group considered to be low risk
would be eligible for expedited screening.
Based on information from TSA, CBO estimates that
implementing H.R. 2127 would have no significant impact on the
federal budget. By limiting access to expedited screening, the
bill might cause more passengers to enroll in a trusted
traveler program, through which TSA pre-screens individuals
using biographic and biometric information in exchange for fees
charged to offset the agency's cost of providing such services.
Because the agency can keep and spend such fees (subject to
provisions in annual appropriation acts), CBO estimates that
any net change in TSA's spending for credentialing activities
under H.R. 2127 would not exceed $500,000 in any year. We
further estimate that implementing H.R. 2127 would not
significantly affect TSA's overall costs to provide screening
at airport checkpoints. Enacting H.R. 2127 would not affect
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go
procedures do not apply.
H.R. 2127 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll.
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Assistant Director
for Budget Analysis.
STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, H.R. 2127 contains the following
general performance goals and objectives, including outcome
related goals and objectives authorized.
This bill requires that the Administrator of the
Transportation Security Administration report annually to the
appropriate Congressional committees on the percentage of all
passengers provided expedited security screening, including a
break-down of which passengers are enrolled in the TSA PreCheck
program, are members of another trusted traveler program, or
other passengers who have been granted screening due to being
identified as a trusted population by the Administrator.
DUPLICATIVE FEDERAL PROGRAMS
Pursuant to clause 3(c) of rule XIII, the Committee finds
that H.R. 2127 does not contain any provision that establishes
or reauthorizes a program known to be duplicative of another
CONGRESSIONAL EARMARKS, LIMITED TAX BENEFITS, AND LIMITED TARIFF
In compliance with rule XXI of the rules of the House of
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of the rule
FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT
The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform
In compliance with section 423 of the Congressional Budget
Act of 1974, requiring the report of any Committee on a bill or
joint resolution to include a statement on the extent to which
the bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt State,
local, or Tribal law, the Committee finds that H.R. 2127 does
not preempt any State, local, or Tribal law.
DISCLOSURE OF DIRECTED RULE MAKINGS
The Committee estimates that H.R. 2127 would require no
directed rule makings.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT
No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b)
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this
APPLICABILITY TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public
services or accommodations within the meaning of section
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.
SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION
Section 1. Short title
This section provides that bill may be cited as the
``Securing Expedited Screening Act''.
Section 2. Findings
This section sets forth the authorization for and history
of expedited aviation security screening. Additionally, it sets
forth information about current Transportation Security
Administration practices regarding expedited screening and
recent Government Accountability Office and Department of
Homeland Security Inspector General reports that have been
critical of certain TSA practices.
Section 3. Limitation; PreCheck operations maintained; alternate
This section requires TSA, not later than 180 days after
enactment, to direct that access to expedited screening be
limited to the following groups:
1. Passengers who participate in the PreCheck
application process or another Department of Homeland
Security trusted traveler program;
2. Passengers who are allowed to participate in
expedited screening pursuant to the `Risk Based
Security for Members of the Armed Forces Act,' the
`Helping Heroes Fly Act', and the `Honor Flight Act';
3. Passengers determined by the Administrator of the
Transportation Security Administration to be members of
a population that is known and low risk.
In carrying out this provision, the section requires TSA to
ensure that expedited screening remain available to passengers
at or above the level that existed the day before this
The Administrator may provide access to expedited screening
to passengers who are 75 years of age or older; or 12 years of
age and younger if their parent or guardian is a participant in
the PreCheck program. Additionally, the Administrator may
extend the period of time to require frequent fliers to enroll
in the program by providing biometric and biographic
information by up to one year, if the Administrator notifies
the appropriate Congressional committees.
In the event that TSA wants to provide expedited screening
to other passengers, through an alternate method, TSA may do
so, upon submitting to Congress an independent assessment that
is consistent with GAO evaluation design practices and that
determines that the method is designed to:
1. Reliably and effectively identify passengers who
likely pose a low risk to the aviation system;
2. Mitigate the likelihood that a passenger who may
pose a security threat received expedited screening;
3. Address known and evolving security threat to the
The Committee has been consistently concerned with TSA's
management of the PreCheck program, and remains particularly
troubled by reports of serious security vulnerabilities created
by the Administration's use of Managed Inclusion and Risk
Assessment as means of providing PreCheck screening to
individuals who have not been vetted and successfully enrolled
in the program. The Committee does not have confidence in TSA's
ability to deploy these alternate methods in a manner which
effectively screens passengers. Despite repeated expressions of
concern to TSA and multiple watchdog reports, the
Administration has continued to be unresponsive in addressing
security gaps and highly inefficient in its efforts to expand
the PreCheck program. It should be noted that the intent of
this legislation is not to prohibit alternate methods of
diverting passengers into PreCheck, outright, but to require
TSA to reasonably prove that such methods are secure and
Section 4. Reporting
This section directs TSA, not later than three months after
enactment and annually thereafter, to provide Congress with
information about the composition of the population that
receives expedited screening.
Section 5. Rule of construction
This section states that nothing in this Act may be
construed as authorizing TSA to reduce or limit the
availability of expedited screening, or limit the authority to
use technologies and systems such as canines and explosive
trace detection as a part of screening operations. The
Committee sees expedited screening for low-risk populations as
an important tool in promoting risk-based, intelligence-driven
security at airports. Additionally, the Committee recognizes
that screening technologies provide critical means of detection
and should be heavily employed at checkpoints, especially when
screening passengers utilizing a PreCheck lane, who have not
been vetted and enrolled in the program.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED
As reported, H.R. 2127 makes no changes to existing law.