TSA gives private security screeners green light in Orlando

Florida Congressman John Mica explains


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 12, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": The TSA giving its OK, the Transportation Security Administration just approving private screeners to come on in at Orlando Sanford International Airport, seen as a major win for my next guest, who's been pushing for this for years.

House Transportation Infrastructure Committee Chairman and Florida Republican John Mica joining me now.

Congressman, good for you. What can we look forward to there that we really might not have enjoyed up to now?

REP. JOHN MICA, R-FLA.: Well, when we started out, we had two bottles. We had private screening under federal supervision and all federal.

And then, when private screening came into play and the airports were allowed to choose it, TSA and the Obama administration closed it down. So, we have a model that works very well. It does a better job as far as performance, a customer service, commonsense approach.

And so Congress revolted when they closed it down. We passed a law. The president signed it in February. Now they must accept the applications. And the first one was accepted yesterday in Sanford, Florida, which will launch a whole new era in screening and passenger...

CAVUTO: What do you mean a whole new era? What's going to be -- a lot of people who fly, fly a lot...?

MICA: Well...


CAVUTO: ... they don't like this whole process.

MICA: Yes.

CAVUTO: What will be different or -- or better?

MICA: What we're going to do is try to get TSA out of the human resources and personnel business and into the security business to connect the dots.

They've created a huge bureaucracy that feeds on itself looking for things to do, harassing grandmothers, veterans, wrestling children to the ground. That is not what you have to do. The United States is the only country left now, bar Romania, Bulgaria and Poland, that has this all-government system.

So, I think we can do it better, get better performance at lower costs.

CAVUTO: I know, but what -- I am sorry, congressman. What are they doing differently? That's all I want to know.

MICA: Well, again -- again, the whole operation will be quite different. You'll have a thinking system.

And we want it risk-based, to be targeted going after bad guys, not, again, having people that are hired from the top of pizza boxes that -- given the badge and this new role...


MICA: ... that they're not really...


CAVUTO: Well, does that mean you are not going to go after grandmas? Are you going to be profiling? What are you going on do?

MICA: Well, again, I think a whole different approach.

We're not trying to harass the average American. We need to convert this now to a risk-based system, with TSA concentrating and focusing on intelligence, on security, setting up again the parameters of which we do this...


MICA: ... get them out of the screening business.

CAVUTO: It sounds like a faster line. That sounds like it's going to be a faster line. You're going to rocket through that.

MICA: A faster and a thinking line, just with a little bit of common sense to it. We can do a lot better.

There are other models in some countries that have experienced some tough terrorist activity. So, the first step was getting TSA out of the bureaucracy business and human resources business. And this is the first step to reforming it.

CAVUTO: All right, I look forward to seeing how it pans out.

Chairman, thank you very much.

MICA: Great to be with you, a great day.

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