House passes legislation meant to improve TSA security protocols

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The House on Monday unanimously passed several bills aimed at ensuring the Transportation Security Administration boosts its screening of security workers, expands its expedited screening program, and ensures that "regular preventative maintenance" is conducted on airport equipment used to screen passengers and luggage for explosives and other dangerous items.

The bills reflect the latest attempt to reform an agency that has left many angry and frustrated as they try to get through security at airports across the country, and also some recent reports that have said TSA is failing to do enough to keep passengers safe.

In May, for example, the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General reported that TSA is not adequately maintaining screening equipment, including, "Explosives Trace Detection machines, Advanced Imaging Technology machines, Bottled Liquid Scanners, X-ray machines, and walkthrough metal detectors." That problem was uncovered even though TSA has a $1.2 billion maintenance budget.

The inspector general warned that because of shoddy upkeep of equipment, "the safety of airline passengers and aircraft could be jeopardized."