Ted Cruz’s Private Airport Escort Plan Blocked

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

(TargetLiberty.org) – A source familiar with the negotiations which would allow judges and lawmakers facing threats to receive special security escorts at airports stated that it had not received reauthorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) because of Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson’s (Miss.) objection. 

The provision which would allow for additional security for Cabinet and Congress members as well as judges had the support of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Law enforcement experts would be responsible for determining the eligibility of the members. This would give lawmakers and judges who have been receiving threats a similar level of security as senior administration officials who have access to special security screenings. 

However, lawmakers currently have to go through normal TSA screenings even when they are facing threats. Supporters of this change have argued that it would reduce the burden on federal law enforcement agencies by requiring that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) be notified about the travel plans of those covered under the plan. 

One staffer close to the discussions has stated that Thompson had blocked the language from being included in the FAA reauthorization following the TSA lobbying against it. The source has added that the move had been opposed by administration officials and congressional leaders who have all opposed the expanded pool of federal officials who are eligible to receive the special escorts. 

The TSA while lobbying against the change had allegedly claimed that the change would apply to every single Congress member. A Homeland Security Department spokesperson had declined to comment on the TSA’s communications regarding the bill.

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