Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

115th Congress    }                                      {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                      {     115-226

======================================================================



 
         STRENGTHENING OVERSIGHT OF TSA EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 17, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. McCaul, from the Committee on Homeland Security, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1351]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1351) to amend title 49, United States Code, to 
direct the Administrator of the Transportation Security 
Administration (TSA) to make certain improvements in managing 
TSA's employee misconduct, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     6
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     6
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     6
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     7
Duplicative Federal Programs.....................................     7
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     7
Preemption Clarification.........................................     7
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     7
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     7
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     8
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     8
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     9
Dissenting Views.................................................    16

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Strengthening Oversight of TSA 
Employee Misconduct Act''.

SEC. 2. TSA MISCONDUCT INSPECTION PLAN.

  (a) In General.--Section 44935 of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended--
          (1) by redesignating the second subsection (i) (relating to 
        accessibility of computer-based training facilities) as 
        subsection (k); and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(l) TSA Misconduct Inspections.--
          ``(1) In general.--Not later than 60 days after the date of 
        the enactment of this subsection, the Administrator of the 
        Transportation Security Administration (TSA) shall--
                  ``(A) designate a senior official to implement a plan 
                to oversee unannounced inspections at airports of 
                agency actions taken to address TSA employee 
                misconduct, including actions taken by managers at 
                airports to address any such misconduct through 
                corrective actions, up to and including removal from 
                Federal service, in accordance with Department of 
                Homeland Security and TSA policies;
                  ``(B) on a biannual basis thereafter until September 
                30, 2023, the official specified in subparagraph (A) 
                shall certify to the Administrator that the unannounced 
                inspections referred to in such paragraph were 
                completed across a sufficient number of airports such 
                that all airports are--
                          ``(i) inspected before such date; and
                          ``(ii) provided adequate information 
                        regarding agency actions taken to address TSA 
                        employee misconduct;
                  ``(C) designate a senior official other than the 
                senior official designated pursuant to subparagraph (A) 
                to review the results of such unannounced inspections 
                to identify causes of any variances and overall trends 
                in the way actions are taken in response to TSA 
                employee misconduct and develop corrective actions and 
                recommendations, up to and including removal from 
                Federal service, as appropriate; and
                  ``(D) direct the official described in subparagraph 
                (C) to implement the corrective actions and 
                recommendations specified in such subparagraph.
          ``(2) Consolidation and coordination.--Unannounced 
        inspections under paragraph (1) of certain locations may be 
        consolidated and coordinated with other relevant TSA offices, 
        as determined appropriate by the Administrator of the TSA.
          ``(3) Extension.--The Administrator of the TSA may extend the 
        final date specified in paragraph (1)(B) for completing the 
        unannounced inspections under paragraph (1) for not more than 
        one additional fiscal year if exigent circumstances warrant. If 
        the Administrator determines that such an extension is 
        necessary, the Administrator shall provide to the Committee on 
        Homeland Security and the Committee on Appropriations of the 
        House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security 
        and Governmental Affairs,. the Committee on Commerce, Science, 
        and Transportation, and the Committee on Appropriations of the 
        Senate written justification regarding such circumstances prior 
        to granting such extension.
          ``(4) Department of homeland security review.--
                  ``(A) In general.--On a biannual basis, the official 
                specified in paragraph (1)(C) shall provide to the 
                Chief Human Capital Officer of the Department of 
                Homeland Security the results of unannounced 
                inspections conducted pursuant to such paragraph.
                  ``(B) Identification.--The Chief Human Capital 
                Officer of the Department of Homeland Security may 
                review the results of the unannounced inspections 
                conducted pursuant to paragraph (1)(A) to, as 
                appropriate, identify trends and make recommendations, 
                to the Administrator of the TSA to address employee 
                misconduct.
                  ``(C) Implementation.--The Administrator of the TSA 
                shall coordinate with the Chief Human Capital Officer 
                of the Department of Homeland Security to implement any 
                recommendations made pursuant to subparagraph (B) 
                within the timeframes established by the Chief Human 
                Capital Officer.
          ``(5) Information to congress.--The Administrator of the TSA 
        shall make the results of the unannounced inspections, 
        including any recommended corrective actions for addressing 
        variances, identified under this subsection readily available 
        to--
                  ``(A) the Committee on Homeland Security and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
                Representatives;
                  ``(B) the Committee on Homeland Security and 
                Governmental Affairs, the Committee on Commerce, 
                Science, and Transportation, and the Committee on 
                Appropriations of the Senate; and
                  ``(C) as appropriate, personnel of the Department of 
                Homeland Security, as determined by the Administrator.
          ``(6) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                  ``(A) Actions.--The term `actions' means consequences 
                for employee misconduct, up to and including removal 
                from Federal Service, established by TSA policy.
                  ``(B) Unannounced inspections.--The term `unannounced 
                inspections' means a review of information without 
                providing advanced notice to the party under review.''.
  (b) No Additional Funds Authorized.--No additional funds are 
authorized to carry out the requirements of this Act and the amendments 
made by this Act. Such requirements shall be carried out using amounts 
otherwise authorized.

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 1351 is to amend title 49, United 
States Code, to direct the Administrator of the Transportation 
Security Administration (TSA) to make certain improvements in 
managing TSA's employee misconduct, and for other purposes.
    H.R. 1351 is intended to better ensure consistency in the 
way TSA airport managers administer agency actions in response 
to employee misconduct and better position TSA to identify 
causes behind persistent employee misconduct. Specifically, 
H.R. 1351 requires the TSA Administrator to designate a senior 
official to oversee unannounced inspections at airports of 
agency actions taken to address employee misconduct to be 
completed at all airports within 5 fiscal years. The bill also 
requires the Administrator to designate a separate official to 
review the inspection results to identify causes of any 
variances or trends in the way actions are taken in response to 
TSA misconduct and to develop corrective actions to address 
such variances. H.R. 1351 also requires TSA to provide 
inspection results to the Department's Chief Human Capital 
Officer to review the results, identify trends, and make 
recommendations on ways to improve TSA employee misconduct. 
Finally, the bill requires the TSA Administrator to provide 
inspection results and any corrective actions to certain 
Congressional committees.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    In July 2016, the Majority staff of the Subcommittee on 
Oversight and Management Efficiency and the Subcommittee on 
Transportation Security released their findings from a joint 
investigation into TSA's efforts to address employee misconduct 
in a report entitled ``Misconduct at TSA Threatens the Security 
of the Flying Public.'' In particular, the staff found that, 
according to TSA data, employee misconduct has grown over time-
by almost 29 percent from Fiscal Year 2013 to 2015. Moreover, 
the report detailed that most disciplinary and non-disciplinary 
penalties are given by lower level managers at airport 
checkpoints with potentially very little oversight by the 
airport's Federal Security Director (FSD), much less by 
headquarters.
    In order to ensure that TSA effectively delegates authority 
to the local level, TSA needs mechanisms to ensure that 
employees are adhering to guidance. If these are not 
implemented, TSA will likely be unable to ensure that 
misconduct declines over time. Although TSA has issued guidance 
related to employee conduct and expects that all employees 
review and adhere to it, it does not have mechanisms in place 
to ensure that the policy is implemented at the local level. 
H.R. 1351 seeks to establish a random inspection mechanism to 
ensure that local managers are administering discipline in a 
consistent and fair way.

                                Hearings

    No hearings were specifically held on H.R. 1351. However, 
the Committee held an oversight hearing on TSA employee 
misconduct during the 114th Congress. On July 7, 2016, the 
Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee and the 
Transportation Security Subcommittee held a joint hearing 
entitled ``How Pervasive is Misconduct at TSA: Examining 
Findings from a Joint Subcommittee Investigation.'' The 
Subcommittees received testimony from Dr. Huban Gowadia, Deputy 
Administrator, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. 
Department of Homeland Security; and Mr. Andrew Oosterbaan, 
Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, Office of 
Inspector General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee met on May 3, 2017, to consider H.R. 1351, 
and ordered the measure to be reported to the House with a 
favorable recommendation, as amended, by voice vote. The 
Committee took the following actions:
    The Committee adopted H.R. 1351, as amended, by a recorded 
vote of 14 yeas and 10 nays (Roll No. 8).
    The following amendment was offered:
 An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by Mr. 
Perry (#1); was AGREED TO by a recorded vote of 14 yeas and 10 
nays (Roll No. 7).

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    The Committee on Homeland Security considered H.R. 1351 on 
May 3, 2017, and took the following votes:


ROLL CALL NO. 7
 
H.R. 1351
 
 


On agreeing to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by Mr. Perry (#1).
Agreed to: 14 yeas and 10 nays.
 


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Representative                  Yea    Nay               Representative              Yea    Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. McCaul,..................................     X          Mr. Thompson of Mississippi,.........            X
  Chair......................................                  Ranking Member.....................
Mr. Smith of Texas...........................                Ms. Jackson Lee......................
Mr. King of New York.........................     X          Mr. Langevin.........................            X
Mr. Rogers of Alabama........................     X          Mr. Richmond.........................
Mr. Duncan of South Carolina.................     X          Mr. Keating..........................            X
Mr. Marino...................................     X          Mr. Payne............................            X
Mr. Barletta.................................     X          Mr. Vela.............................            X
Mr. Perry....................................     X          Mrs. Watson Coleman..................            X
Mr. Katko....................................                Miss Rice of New York................            X
Mr. Hurd.....................................     X          Mr. Correa...........................            X
Ms. McSally..................................     X          Mrs. Demings.........................            X
Mr. Ratcliffe................................     X          Ms. Barragan.........................            X
Mr. Donovan..................................
Mr. Gallagher................................     X
Mr. Higgins of Louisiana.....................     X
Mr. Rutherford...............................     X
Mr. Garrett..................................     X
Mr. Fitzpatrick..............................
                                                                                                   -------------
                                                             Vote Total:                              14     10
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



ROLL CALL NO. 8
 
H.R. 1351
 
 


On ordering H.R. 1351 to be reported to the House with a favorable recommendation, as amended.
Agreed to: 14 yeas and 10 nays.
 


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Representative                  Yea    Nay               Representative              Yea    Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. McCaul,..................................     X          Mr. Thompson of Mississippi,.........            X
  Chair......................................                  Ranking Member.....................
Mr. Smith of Texas...........................                Ms. Jackson Lee......................
Mr. King of New York.........................     X          Mr. Langevin.........................            X
Mr. Rogers of Alabama........................     X          Mr. Richmond.........................
Mr. Duncan of South Carolina.................     X          Mr. Keating..........................            X
Mr. Marino...................................     X          Mr. Payne............................            X
Mr. Barletta.................................     X          Mr. Vela.............................            X
Mr. Perry....................................     X          Mrs. Watson Coleman..................            X
Mr. Katko....................................                Miss Rice of New York................            X
Mr. Hurd.....................................     X          Mr. Correa...........................            X
Ms. McSally..................................     X          Mrs. Demings.........................            X
Mr. Ratcliffe................................     X          Ms. Barragan.........................            X
Mr. Donovan..................................
Mr. Gallagher................................     X
Mr. Higgins of Louisiana.....................     X
Mr. Rutherford...............................     X
Mr. Garrett..................................     X
Mr. Fitzpatrick..............................
                                                                                                   -------------
                                                             Vote Total:                              14     10
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has held oversight 
hearings and made findings that are reflected in this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of Rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
1351, the Strengthening Oversight of TSA Employee Misconduct 
Act, would result in no new or increased budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 14, 2017.
Hon. Michael McCaul,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1351, the 
Strengthening Oversight of TSA Employee Misconduct Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan 
Carroll.
            Sincerely,
                                             Mark P. Hadley
                                        (For Keith Hall, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1351--Strengthening Oversight of TSA Employee Misconduct Act

    H.R. 1351 would require the Transportation Security 
Administration (TSA) to complete, by September 30, 2023, 
unannounced inspections at all airports of actions taken by TSA 
managers to address employee misconduct. The bill would specify 
procedures for TSA to follow in reporting the results of such 
inspections to both the Congress and the Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS) and would authorize TSA to implement any 
personnel-related recommendations that DHS makes after 
reviewing such results.
    Based on an analysis of information from TSA, CBO estimates 
that inspecting all airports where TSA currently operates 
within the timeframe specified by the bill would require about 
five additional staff. Including increased administrative costs 
and travel expenses, CBO estimates that meeting the bill's 
inspection requirements would increase TSA's costs by $1 
million annually and $5 million over the 2018-2022 period; that 
spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated 
funds. (That amount does not include any additional costs that 
the agency might incur to implement DHS-recommended changes to 
policies for addressing employee misconduct pursuant to reports 
of inspections carried out under the bill.)
    Enacting H.R. 1351 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 1351 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 1351 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 1351 contains the following 
general performance goals and objectives, including outcome 
related goals and objectives authorized.
    The purpose of H.R. 1351 is to direct the Administrator of 
the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to make 
certain improvements in managing TSA's employee misconduct, and 
for other purposes.

                      Duplicative Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of Rule XIII, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 1351 does not contain any provision that establishes 
or reauthorizes a program known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program.

   Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

    In compliance with Rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of the Rule 
XXI.

                        Preemption Clarification

    In compliance with section 423 of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, requiring the report of any Committee on a bill or 
joint resolution to include a statement on the extent to which 
the bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt State, 
local, or Tribal law, the Committee finds that H.R. 1351 does 
not preempt any State, local, or Tribal law.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H.R. 1351 would require no 
directed rule makings.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1.   Short Title.

    This section provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``Strengthening Oversight of TSA Employee Misconduct Act''.

Sec. 2.   TSA Misconduct Inspection Plan.

    Section 2 requires the TSA Administrator to, within 60 days 
of enactment, designate a senior official to oversee 
unannounced inspections at airports of agency actions taken to 
address employee misconduct, including managers removing 
employees from service, if necessary. That official must 
certify to the Administrator on a biannual basis thereafter 
until Fiscal Year 2023 that the unannounced inspections were 
completed across a sufficient number of airports to ensure that 
all airports are inspected by the specified time period.
    Section 2 also requires the Administrator to designate a 
separate official to review the inspection results to identify 
causes of any variances or trends in the way actions are taken 
in response to TSA misconduct and to develop corrective actions 
to address such variances. The Administrator is also required 
to ensure that the official conducting the unannounced 
inspections implements any recommendations made to address 
variances in the way actions are taken. The Administrator may 
determine, as appropriate, whether inspections may be 
consolidated with activities by other offices and such 
inspections should be coordinated with other relevant TSA 
offices. The Committee intends for the Administrator to 
safeguard against any unnecessary duplication in carrying out 
these inspections.
    Additionally, Section 2 provides that the Administrator may 
extend date for completing the unannounced inspections by not 
more than one additional fiscal year, if warranted by exigent 
circumstances. Section 2 also requires TSA to provide 
inspection results biannually to the Department's Chief Human 
Capital Officer to ensure that TSA addresses employee 
misconduct. The Department's Chief Human Capital Officer may 
review the results, identify trends, and make recommendations 
on ways to improve TSA employee misconduct. Although the 
Administrator shall coordinate with the DHS Chief Human Capital 
Officer and implement recommendations, the Chief Human Capital 
Officer should consult with the Administrator on such 
recommendations and consider the cost and operational impacts 
of any such recommendations. The Committee intends for any 
recommendations made by the Chief Human Capital Officer to help 
the Administrator address employee misconduct.
    Section 2 also requires the TSA Administrator to make 
inspection results and any corrective actions available to the 
Committees on Homeland Security, and Appropriations of the 
House of Representatives; the Committees on Homeland Security 
and Governmental Affairs, Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation, and Appropriations of the Senate; and, as 
appropriate, Department personnel. Section 2 includes 
definitions of actions and unannounced inspections to help TSA 
implement the bill's provisions. Finally, section 2 prohibits 
any additional funds from being authorized to carry out these 
provisions.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 49, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBTITLE VII--AVIATION PROGRAMS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART A--AIR COMMERCE AND SAFETY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBPART III--SAFETY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 449--SECURITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER II--ADMINISTRATION AND PERSONNEL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 44935. Employment standards and training

  (a) Employment Standards.--The Under Secretary of 
Transportation for Security shall prescribe standards for the 
employment and continued employment of, and contracting for, 
air carrier personnel and, as appropriate, airport security 
personnel. The standards shall include--
          (1) minimum training requirements for new employees;
          (2) retraining requirements;
          (3) minimum staffing levels;
          (4) minimum language skills; and
          (5) minimum education levels for employees, when 
        appropriate.
  (b) Review and Recommendations.--In coordination with air 
carriers, airport operators, and other interested persons, the 
Under Secretary shall review issues related to human 
performance in the aviation security system to maximize that 
performance. When the review is completed, the Under Secretary 
shall recommend guidelines and prescribe appropriate changes in 
existing procedures to improve that performance.
  (c) Security Program Training, Standards, and 
Qualifications.--(1) The Under Secretary--
          (A) may train individuals employed to carry out a 
        security program under section 44903(c) of this title; 
        and
          (B) shall prescribe uniform training standards and 
        uniform minimum qualifications for individuals eligible 
        for that training.
  (2) The Under Secretary may authorize reimbursement for 
travel, transportation, and subsistence expenses for security 
training of non-United States Government domestic and foreign 
individuals whose services will contribute significantly to 
carrying out civil aviation security programs. To the extent 
practicable, air travel reimbursed under this paragraph shall 
be on air carriers.
  (d) Education and Training Standards for Security 
Coordinators, Supervisory Personnel, and Pilots.--(1) The Under 
Secretary shall prescribe standards for educating and 
training--
          (A) ground security coordinators;
          (B) security supervisory personnel; and
          (C) airline pilots as in-flight security 
        coordinators.
  (2) The standards shall include initial training, retraining, 
and continuing education requirements and methods. Those 
requirements and methods shall be used annually to measure the 
performance of ground security coordinators and security 
supervisory personnel.
  (e) Security Screeners.--
          (1) Training program.--The Under Secretary of 
        Transportation for Security shall establish a program 
        for the hiring and training of security screening 
        personnel.
          (2) Hiring.--
                  (A) Qualifications.--Within 30 days after the 
                date of enactment of the aviation 
                Transportation Security Act, the Under 
                Secretary shall establish qualification 
                standards for individuals to be hired by the 
                United States as security screening personnel. 
                Notwithstanding any provision of law, those 
                standards shall require, at a minimum, an 
                individual--
                          (i) to have a satisfactory or better 
                        score on a Federal security screening 
                        personnel selection examination;
                          (ii) to be a citizen of the United 
                        States or a national of the United 
                        States, as defined in section 
                        1101(a)(22) of the Immigration and 
                        Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22));
                          (iii) to meet, at a minimum, the 
                        requirements set forth in subsection 
                        (f);
                          (iv) to meet such other 
                        qualifications as the Under Secretary 
                        may establish; and
                          (v) to have the ability to 
                        demonstrate daily a fitness for duty 
                        without any impairment due to illegal 
                        drugs, sleep deprivation, medication, 
                        or alcohol.
                  (B) Background checks.--The Under Secretary 
                shall require that an individual to be hired as 
                a security screener undergo an employment 
                investigation (including a criminal history 
                record check) under section 44936(a)(1).
                  (C) Disqualification of individuals who 
                present national security risks.--The Under 
                Secretary, in consultation with the heads of 
                other appropriate Federal agencies, shall 
                establish procedures, in addition to any 
                background check conducted under section 44936, 
                to ensure that no individual who presents a 
                threat to national security is employed as a 
                security screener.
          (3) Examination; review of existing rules.--The Under 
        Secretary shall develop a security screening personnel 
        examination for use in determining the qualification of 
        individuals seeking employment as security screening 
        personnel. The Under Secretary shall also review, and 
        revise as necessary, any standard, rule, or regulation 
        governing the employment of individuals as security 
        screening personnel.
  (f) Employment Standards for Screening Personnel.--
          (1) Screener requirements.--Notwithstanding any 
        provision of law, an individual may not be deployed as 
        a security screener unless that individual meets the 
        following requirements:
                  (A) The individual shall possess a high 
                school diploma, a general equivalency diploma, 
                or experience that the Under Secretary has 
                determined to be sufficient for the individual 
                to perform the duties of the position.
                  (B) The individual shall possess basic 
                aptitudes and physical abilities, including 
                color perception, visual and aural acuity, 
                physical coordination, and motor skills, to the 
                following standards:
                          (i) Screeners operating screening 
                        equipment shall be able to distinguish 
                        on the screening equipment monitor the 
                        appropriate imaging standard specified 
                        by the Under Secretary.
                          (ii) Screeners operating any 
                        screening equipment shall be able to 
                        distinguish each color displayed on 
                        every type of screening equipment and 
                        explain what each color signifies.
                          (iii) Screeners shall be able to hear 
                        and respond to the spoken voice and to 
                        audible alarms generated by screening 
                        equipment in an active checkpoint 
                        environment.
                          (iv) Screeners performing physical 
                        searches or other related operations 
                        shall be able to efficiently and 
                        thoroughly manipulate and handle such 
                        baggage, containers, and other objects 
                        subject to security processing.
                          (v) Screeners who perform pat-downs 
                        or hand-held metal detector searches of 
                        individuals shall have sufficient 
                        dexterity and capability to thoroughly 
                        conduct those procedures over an 
                        individual's entire body.
                  (C) The individual shall be able to read, 
                speak, and write English well enough to--
                          (i) carry out written and oral 
                        instructions regarding the proper 
                        performance of screening duties;
                          (ii) read English language 
                        identification media, credentials, 
                        airline tickets, and labels on items 
                        normally encountered in the screening 
                        process;
                          (iii) provide direction to and 
                        understand and answer questions from 
                        English-speaking individuals undergoing 
                        screening; and
                          (iv) write incident reports and 
                        statements and log entries into 
                        security records in the English 
                        language.
                  (D) The individual shall have satisfactorily 
                completed all initial, recurrent, and 
                appropriate specialized training required by 
                the security program, except as provided in 
                paragraph (3).
          (2) Veterans preference.--The Under Secretary shall 
        provide a preference for the hiring of an individual as 
        a security screener if the individual is a member or 
        former member of the armed forces and if the individual 
        is entitled, under statute, to retired, retirement, or 
        retainer pay on account of service as a member of the 
        armed forces.
          (3) Exceptions.--An individual who has not completed 
        the training required by this section may be deployed 
        during the on-the-job portion of training to perform 
        functions if that individual--
                  (A) is closely supervised; and
                  (B) does not make independent judgments as to 
                whether individuals or property may enter a 
                sterile area or aircraft without further 
                inspection.
          (4) Remedial training.--No individual employed as a 
        security screener may perform a screening function 
        after that individual has failed an operational test 
        related to that function until that individual has 
        successfully completed the remedial training specified 
        in the security program.
          (5) Annual proficiency review.--The Under Secretary 
        shall provide that an annual evaluation of each 
        individual assigned screening duties is conducted and 
        documented. An individual employed as a security 
        screener may not continue to be employed in that 
        capacity unless the evaluation demonstrates that the 
        individual--
                  (A) continues to meet all qualifications and 
                standards required to perform a screening 
                function;
                  (B) has a satisfactory record of performance 
                and attention to duty based on the standards 
                and requirements in the security program; and
                  (C) demonstrates the current knowledge and 
                skills necessary to courteously, vigilantly, 
                and effectively perform screening functions.
          (6) Operational testing.--In addition to the annual 
        proficiency review conducted under paragraph (5), the 
        Under Secretary shall provide for the operational 
        testing of such personnel.
  (g) Training.--
          (1) Use of other agencies.--The Under Secretary may 
        enter into a memorandum of understanding or other 
        arrangement with any other Federal agency or department 
        with appropriate law enforcement responsibilities, to 
        provide personnel, resources, or other forms of 
        assistance in the training of security screening 
        personnel.
          (2) Training plan.--Within 60 days after the date of 
        enactment of the Aviation and Transportation Security 
        Act, the Under Secretary shall develop a plan for the 
        training of security screening personnel. The plan 
        shall require, at a minimum, that a security screener--
                  (A) has completed 40 hours of classroom 
                instruction or successfully completed a program 
                that the Under Secretary determines will train 
                individuals to a level of proficiency 
                equivalent to the level that would be achieved 
                by such classroom instruction;
                  (B) has completed 60 hours of on-the-job 
                instructions; and
                  (C) has successfully completed an on-the-job 
                training examination prescribed by the Under 
                Secretary.
          (3) Equipment-specific training.--An individual 
        employed as a security screener may not use any 
        security screening device or equipment in the scope of 
        that individual's employment unless the individual has 
        been trained on that device or equipment and has 
        successfully completed a test on the use of the device 
        or equipment.
          (h) Technological Training.--
                  (1) In general.--The Under Secretary shall 
                require training to ensure that screeners are 
                proficient in using the most up-to-date new 
                technology and to ensure their proficiency in 
                recognizing new threats and weapons.
                  (2) Periodic assessments.--The Under 
                Secretary shall make periodic assessments to 
                determine if there are dual use items and 
                inform security screening personnel of the 
                existence of such items.
                  (3) Current lists of dual use items.--Current 
                lists of dual use items shall be part of the 
                ongoing training for screeners.
                  (4) Dual use defined.--For purposes of this 
                subsection, the term ``dual use'' item means an 
                item that may seem harmless but that may be 
                used as a weapon.
  (i)  Limitation on Right to Strike.--An individual that 
screens passengers or property, or both, at an airport under 
this section may not participate in a strike, or assert the 
right to strike, against the person (including a governmental 
entity) employing such individual to perform such screening.
  (j) Uniforms.--The Under Secretary shall require any 
individual who screens passengers and property pursuant to 
section 44901 to be attired while on duty in a uniform approved 
by the Under Secretary.
  [(i)] (k)  Accessibility of Computer-Based Training 
Facilities.--The Under Secretary shall work with air carriers 
and airports to ensure that computer-based training facilities 
intended for use by security screeners at an airport regularly 
serving an air carrier holding a certificate issued by the 
Secretary of Transportation are conveniently located for that 
airport and easily accessible.
  (l) TSA Misconduct Inspections.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than 60 days after the 
        date of the enactment of this subsection, the 
        Administrator of the Transportation Security 
        Administration (TSA) shall--
                  (A) designate a senior official to implement 
                a plan to oversee unannounced inspections at 
                airports of agency actions taken to address TSA 
                employee misconduct, including actions taken by 
                managers at airports to address any such 
                misconduct through corrective actions, up to 
                and including removal from Federal service, in 
                accordance with Department of Homeland Security 
                and TSA policies;
                  (B) on a biannual basis thereafter until 
                September 30, 2023, the official specified in 
                subparagraph (A) shall certify to the 
                Administrator that the unannounced inspections 
                referred to in such paragraph were completed 
                across a sufficient number of airports such 
                that all airports are--
                          (i) inspected before such date; and
                          (ii) provided adequate information 
                        regarding agency actions taken to 
                        address TSA employee misconduct;
                  (C) designate a senior official other than 
                the senior official designated pursuant to 
                subparagraph (A) to review the results of such 
                unannounced inspections to identify causes of 
                any variances and overall trends in the way 
                actions are taken in response to TSA employee 
                misconduct and develop corrective actions and 
                recommendations, up to and including removal 
                from Federal service, as appropriate; and
                  (D) direct the official described in 
                subparagraph (C) to implement the corrective 
                actions and recommendations specified in such 
                subparagraph.
          (2) Consolidation and coordination.--Unannounced 
        inspections under paragraph (1) of certain locations 
        may be consolidated and coordinated with other relevant 
        TSA offices, as determined appropriate by the 
        Administrator of the TSA.
          (3) Extension.--The Administrator of the TSA may 
        extend the final date specified in paragraph (1)(B) for 
        completing the unannounced inspections under paragraph 
        (1) for not more than one additional fiscal year if 
        exigent circumstances warrant. If the Administrator 
        determines that such an extension is necessary, the 
        Administrator shall provide to the Committee on 
        Homeland Security and the Committee on Appropriations 
        of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
        Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs,. the 
        Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and 
        the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate written 
        justification regarding such circumstances prior to 
        granting such extension.
          (4) Department of homeland security review.--
                  (A) In general.--On a biannual basis, the 
                official specified in paragraph (1)(C) shall 
                provide to the Chief Human Capital Officer of 
                the Department of Homeland Security the results 
                of unannounced inspections conducted pursuant 
                to such paragraph.
                  (B) Identification.--The Chief Human Capital 
                Officer of the Department of Homeland Security 
                may review the results of the unannounced 
                inspections conducted pursuant to paragraph 
                (1)(A) to, as appropriate, identify trends and 
                make recommendations, to the Administrator of 
                the TSA to address employee misconduct.
                  (C) Implementation.--The Administrator of the 
                TSA shall coordinate with the Chief Human 
                Capital Officer of the Department of Homeland 
                Security to implement any recommendations made 
                pursuant to subparagraph (B) within the 
                timeframes established by the Chief Human 
                Capital Officer.
          (5) Information to congress.--The Administrator of 
        the TSA shall make the results of the unannounced 
        inspections, including any recommended corrective 
        actions for addressing variances, identified under this 
        subsection readily available to--
                  (A) the Committee on Homeland Security and 
                the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
                Representatives;
                  (B) the Committee on Homeland Security and 
                Governmental Affairs, the Committee on 
                Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
                  (C) as appropriate, personnel of the 
                Department of Homeland Security, as determined 
                by the Administrator.
          (6) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                  (A) Actions.--The term ``actions'' means 
                consequences for employee misconduct, up to and 
                including removal from Federal Service, 
                established by TSA policy.
                  (B) Unannounced inspections.--The term 
                ``unannounced inspections'' means a review of 
                information without providing advanced notice 
                to the party under review.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    On behalf of Committee Democrats, I submit these dissenting 
views with respect to H.R. 1351, the ``Strengthening Oversight 
of TSA Employee Misconduct Act,'' a bill premised on 
unsubstantiated claims of wide-scale misconduct within the 
transportation security officer (TSO) workforce that, if 
enacted, could result in limited Transportation Security 
Administration (TSA) auditing resources being diverted from 
investigating security-related concerns.
    The TSO workforce has been effective at protecting the 
flying public since federalization of their duties following 
the terrible events of 9/11. The TSO workforce is the face of 
TSA and are the DHS employees the public is most likely to 
encounter. In 2016, the TSO workforce screened more than 2 
million passengers per day (738 million in total).\1\ The men 
and women that serve on TSA's frontlines stopped over 3,000 
firearms from being brought on planes in carry-on bags in 
2016.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\TSA Releases 2016 Statistics. National Press Release. January 
12, 2017. https: http://blog.tsa.gov/2017/01/tsa-year-in-review-record-
amount-of.html.
    \2\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is no evidence to support the premise of H.R. 1351--
that the TSO workforce is more likely to engage in misconduct 
than other federal workers and, thus, specific legislation 
requiring heightened scrutiny for this workforce is 
unwarranted. It is important to keep in mind that amongst 
government agencies, TSA consistently ranks near the bottom for 
best places to work, ranking 303 out of 305 in 2016.\3\ With 
their notoriously low workforce morale, a bill such as H.R. 
1351 that singles out the agency, risks further demoralizing 
TSOs and creating an atmosphere of fear and mistrust.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\``Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.'' December 
2016. Accessed July 14, 2017. http://bestplacestowork.org/BPTW/
rankings/detail/HS10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Beyond insulting the TSO workforce, H.R. 1351, as drafted, 
has fundamental flaws that, according to TSA, sow confusion 
about what the agency would actually be mandated to do. 
Specifically, in advance of the Full Committee's consideration 
of this measure, TSA communicated to the Committee that it is 
unsure of whether it would be expected to divert its limited 
inspection resources away from its risk-based review of 
security operations and administrative matters, including 
personnel matters, to conduct unannounced audits of 
documentation on how misconduct is managed at each airport in 
the United States.
    Further, to carry out an effective audit, TSA indicated 
that there needs to be coordination with the leadership within 
an audited airport to ensure that needed documents are 
available for review. TSA told the Committee, informally, that 
the unannounced audit regime is a recipe for waste since, under 
TSA's ``hub and spoke model'' documents are centrally housed at 
certain airports. Furthermore, the bill fails to recognize that 
each incident of misconduct is unique by nature and requires a 
detailed analysis in order to make informed decisions. 
Identifying the number of instances of misconduct does not 
identify causation. Simply collecting paperwork from airports 
across the country cannot paint an accurate picture of all 
incidents and is a misguided approach to oversight.
    Further, as drafted, it is unclear which entities and 
persons would be responsible for carrying out the mandated 
inspections. H.R. 1351 offers no guidance on which office 
within TSA would be responsible for the unannounced 
inspections. It only states that a ``senior official'' would be 
responsible.
    TSA's Audits and Inspections Division has an inspection 
program that utilizes a risk-based approach to focus on higher 
impact operational and administrative areas. The Committee was 
told by TSA that if the Audits and Inspections Division is 
tasked with performing the new unannounced inspection regime, 
it could result in approximately 20% of their project work, 
from the date of passage through the subsequent 5 years, 
needing to be abandoned until the requirements of the bill are 
met.
    This bill is unnecessary as there are already extensive 
procedures in place at TSA to handle misconduct. For almost 16 
years, TSA has maintained its own disciplinary procedures and 
already has several senior officials, including the Chief Human 
Capital Officer and the Director of Employee Relations, whose 
duties include tracking disciplinary actions. Moreover, TSA's 
Office of Professional Responsibility Appellate Review Board 
tracks and oversees disciplinary actions. Additionally, 
Congress already has the authority to request information on 
TSA disciplinary actions, and TSA has provided such information 
repeatedly.
    H.R. 1351 is vague, confusing for TSA, wasteful, and could 
result in limited homeland security resources being improperly 
diverted. Most importantly, it lacks a well-reasoned rationale 
and is based on false notions about the degree to which there 
are discipline issues within the TSO workforce. The men and 
women of TSA should be supported by Congress, not put down, as 
they endeavor every day, often in stressful and understaffed 
environments, to ensure that the American flying public is 
secure.
    For all these reasons, on behalf of Committee Democrats, I 
strongly dissent against H.R. 1351 and urge my colleagues in 
the House of Representatives to stand with the over 44,000 TSOs 
nationwide and reject H.R. 1351.

                                   Bennie G. Thompson.

                                  [all]