Republicans members on the House Oversight Committee lambasted the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at a hearing Thursday, accusing it of misrepresenting impacts of the sequester and condemning a $50 million uniform purchase made shortly before budget cuts kicked in, according to the Hill
In the days leading up to the sequester, the TSA claimed the cuts would cause longer lines at airport security checkpoints because of the inevitability of furloughs to the agency’s screeners.
GOP lawmakers were quick to point out that, almost two months after the $85 million cut took effect, the agency appeared to have concocted a scenario that did not come to pass.
“Despite what [Homeland Security] Secretary [Janet] Napolitano said, there are no longer lines, there are no furloughs out there,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz , R-Utah, chairman of the Oversight Committee’s National Security panel. “TSA is one place that we can point where services were basically uninterrupted and the effect to the public was minimized.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, held nothing back in his indictment of the agency.
“You’re here today because you have more resources than you could possibly need,” Issa said.
“Your agency is constantly known as TSA: Thousands Standing Around. And the reason is you endlessly including more and more people doing less and less.”
Issa voiced disbelief on the subject of the TSA avoiding furloughs, despite the sequester.
“You’ve made cuts in areas that could potentially endanger America, because you have not been willing to have attrition and right-sizing,” Issa said.
“You haven’t encouraged alternatives to federal employees when you could’ve.
Issa also blasted the TSA over a $50 million TSA uniform contract that was signed in the weeks leading up to sequester.
He argued that deal burdened the agency with a big credibility problem.
“Until people going thru the checkpoints see the efficiency of people with blue uniforms, and I’d like those blue uniforms to be a less expensive the next time you buy them, they’re not going to believe anything you say,” Issa said.
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