House approves TSA Authorization, TWIC improvements

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | Friday, June 05, 2009

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Transportation Security Administration’s authorization bill Thursday, June 4, which includes provisions to reduce multiple background checks and make TWIC enrollment less time consuming.

An amendment by Rep. Kathy Castor, D-FL, was added into the TSA Authorization bill, also known as HR2200, by a vote on Thursday.

Castor’s amendment – made as part of the TSA Authorization bill – recognizes the federally issued Transportation Worker Identification Credential card as sufficient identification for all states and ports – unless a locality could show some compelling national security reason for a separate background check and pass.

The TSA Authorization bill also requires ports to escort TWIC applicants who are awaiting a TWIC card and would allow TWIC applicants to receive the cards at their home.

The entire bill was approved later that day before consideration in the Senate.

Castor’s state has included its share of repetitive security and background checks for truckers. Ports such as the Port of Miami require local ID programs, and until recently Florida had implemented a statewide port ID program similar to TWIC called FUPAC.

In May, the Florida Legislature voted to end the FUPAC program, which requires a background check some view as less extensive than TWIC. The bill has been sent to the governor.

OOIDA has filed multiple comments with the Federal Register regarding the expense and degree of time spent and difficulty in obtaining TWIC cards, as well as the repetitive nature of TWIC and hazmat background checks.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer
charlie_morasch@landlinemag.com

 

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