4:36 PM EDT

Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, R-AS

Mrs. RADEWAGEN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration.

4:36 PM EDT

John Katko, R-NY 24th

Mr. KATKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 2770, the Keeping Our Travelers Safe and Secure Act, sponsored by my colleague, Miss Rice. This legislation will strengthen TSA's management of its screening equipment maintenance contracts and related maintenance activities.

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General released a report in May that found that TSA is not properly managing the maintenance of its critical airport screening equipment. Because TSA does not adequately oversee this equipment, it cannot be assured that the routine preventive maintenance is performed or that equipment is repaired and ready for operational use.

This bill codifies the three recommendations made by the IG, all of which TSA concurred with. I am pleased to join Miss Rice; Mr. Thompson; my fellow New York delegation members Mr. King, Mr. Donovan, and Mr. Higgins; along with Mr. Payne; Mr. Keating; and Mr. Richmond as cosponsors of this important legislation.

I urge my other colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 2770.

I reserve the balance of my time.

4:40 PM EDT

Kathleen Rice, D-NY 4th

Miss RICE of New York. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and I rise in strong support of H.R. 2770, the Keeping Our Travelers Safe and Secure Act.

Mr. Speaker, last May, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general released a report with a blunt and revealing title: ``The Transportation Security Administration Does Not Properly Manage Its Airport Screening Equipment Maintenance Program.''

The report revealed that TSA lacks strict policies and procedures for maintaining critical screening technology, including x-ray machines and explosive detection equipment. The consequences of this deficiency could be severe.

First, as the inspector general's report noted, the lack of regular maintenance reduces the life of screening equipment, which means TSA would have to incur the cost of new equipment. That is a problem for American taxpayers.

Even more importantly, the inspector general also noted that, if screening equipment becomes less than fully operational, TSA will be forced to rely on alternative screening measures that may not be as effective at detecting dangerous items. That creates serious risks for passengers, risks that we can and must eliminate.

As threats to our homeland evolve, particularly threats to our commercial aviation sector, we cannot afford to be complacent about maintaining screening equipment.

This legislation, which I introduced with Ranking Member Thompson, Chairman Katko, and Representative Payne, requires TSA to get serious about maintaining security-related technology in our Nation's airports.

Specifically, it requires TSA, within 180 days of enactment, to develop and implement a comprehensive preventive maintenance validation process. This process must include strict maintenance schedules, clear guidance for TSA personnel and contractors on how to conduct and document maintenance actions, mechanisms to ensure compliance, and penalties for noncompliance.

These measures are common sense. This is a threat that we can neutralize. I urge my colleagues to do so by supporting this bipartisan legislation.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I would like to thank members of the Committee on Homeland Security for supporting this legislation. There was truly a constructive bipartisan effort to make this legislation what it is today, and because of it, the commercial aviation sector will be more secure.

I once again urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation. I thank Chairman Katko for his support.

I yield back the balance of my time.

4:40 PM EDT

John Katko, R-NY 24th

Mr. KATKO. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume to close.

Mr. Speaker, I once again urge my colleagues to support this strong, bipartisan piece of legislation.

I yield back the balance of my time.