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Tags: Ron Johnson | TSA | transportation security administration | jeh johnson

Sen. Ron Johnson: TSA Needs a 'Top-to-Bottom' Evaluation

By    |   Wednesday, 10 June 2015 02:04 PM EDT

The Transportation Security Administration needs a "top-to-bottom" evaluation to determine the extent of its issues and to come up with solutions, Sen. Ron Johnson said Wednesday.

"The TSA has the dual goals of being efficient, so nobody misses their flight and also [providing] 100 percent security," the Wisconsin Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program. "It's not working. I wish it were, but it's not."

The agency has been slammed with issues in recent weeks, including a report released by the inspector general's office this week that showed at least 73 people who are employed in the airline industry and are linked to terrorism-related activity codes made it past the TSA without notice.

The report came about a week after Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson reassigned TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway after media reports that TSA did not detect mock explosives and weapons 95 percent of the time when tested by undercover agents.

Ron Johnson told Fox News that there have been some that call the TSA the "security theater" as it "does deter some bad actors but it doesn't keep us 100 percent safe."

As for allowing people to pass TSA security, the issue is in the precheck program, which allows known passengers who are fully vetted to pass through without a security check, said Johnson.

"We are handing out that security precheck like Halloween candy and it defeats the purpose of the program," said Johnson, calling for a "layered approach" when it comes to airport security.

"The AIT machines that are supposed to be scanning for bombs are not working the way they should," he said. "They don't do a good job of detecting metal weapons. Put a metal detector on the other side. How about bomb-sniffing dogs that are incredibly effective? That would be layered security."

Another issue is that the Department of Homeland Security is "one of the lowest morale departments in the federal government," said Johnson.

"This has been a department plagued with low employee morale, particularly the TSA," he said. "People are people. It's a tedious job and it's easy to become complacent. You need to rotate staff and provide incentives to keep people completely alert to keep this nation safe."

He does give Jeh Johnson credit for acting swiftly and promised that lawmakers will work closely with him and the new TSA administrator to make the system effective and efficient.

"When we are patting down 83-year-old grandmas in wheelchairs, that's security theater," he said. "It makes no sense whatsoever. We have got to take a much more intelligent approach."



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Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The federal Transportation Security Administration needs a "top-to-bottom" evaluation to determine the extent of its issues and to come up with solutions, Sen. Ron Johnson said Wednesday.
Ron Johnson, TSA, transportation security administration, jeh johnson
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2015-04-10
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 02:04 PM
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