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Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Streamline TSA Security Clearance Process for Transportation Workers

U.S. Representatives Garret Graves (Chairman, House Aviation Subcommittee), Adam Smith (Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee), and Mark Green (Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security), along with U.S. Representatives Michael Guest, Dina Titus, and Salud Carbajal, have introduced bipartisan legislation, H.R. 5840 – the Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act to eliminate the redundant fees and background checks for essential transportation workers. The bill cuts through red tape to allow workers to apply existing valid background checks to multiple TSA-managed credentialing programs, preventing workers from going through identical processes multiple times. 

This new streamlining legislation reduces costs and hassle for workers like truck drivers, pipeline operators, longshoremen, and warehouse managers, among many others, who must obtain these credentials as a condition of employment. 

“Ridiculous regulations and red tape have crushed America’s supply chain workers. We need to expedite the time it takes to put an essential worker into our workforce, not requiring people to stand in line for security credentials only to have them get back in line to obtain a redundant background check for another TSA credential,” Graves said. “The supply chain crisis has contributed to higher consumer costs and shortages, and this effort is part of the solution to make sure our transportation workforce is able to work at full speed. I look forward to working with this strong group of bipartisan lawmakers to ensure that this legislation strengthens our economy and supply chain while reducing costs and headaches.” 

“I’ve heard from many transportation workers in my district who have had to spend a significant amount of time and money to keep their required credentials up to date. The legislation we introduced would create a more streamlined application and renewal process, reducing unnecessary hurdles for transportation workers, a crucial workforce in our economy,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “I am thrilled to have the support of Teamsters, Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, Washington State Labor Council, and the American Trucking Association and look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important piece of legislation.”   

“I am pleased to join this important legislation that would help create efficiencies in credentialing for our front-line transportation workers. Through this legislation, we are working to improve our supply chain challenges by addressing burdensome regulations for these critical workers. I look forward to working toward passage of H.R. 5840 during the 118th Congress,” said Rep. Guest.  

“Critical supply chain workers should not be subject to redundant and outdated government red tape which delays their employment,” said Rep. Titus. “By streamlining the credentialing process across TSA-managed programs, we ensure that our supply chains are secure and ease the burden on applicants, including truck drivers, warehouse managers, and pipeline operators. Supporting these essential transportation workers will not only strengthen our economy, but also lower costs for consumers. 

"Eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies in these credentialing processes will ensure we avoid supply chain disruptions and undue burden on the transportation workers – who should be focused on doing their critical jobs, not juggling varying expiration dates and fees," said Rep. Carbajal. "This bipartisan bill will ensure our essential workers can smoothly navigate their security credentials without cutting corners on safety." 

"Subjecting essential supply chain workers to continually repeat the same exact background check multiple times in order to receive different credentials—all from the same, one agency—does nothing to enhance security," said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. "This system only serves to pad government coffers by forcing truckers and other transportation workers to pay duplicative fees for a background check they’ve already cleared. Congress should not allow the inefficiencies of government bureaucracy to impede the efficiency of our supply chain, especially at the expense of those hardworking men and women who keep our economy running. We thank Congressman Graves for his strong leadership on this important issue for trucking.” 

The Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act does not make any modifications to the back-end security assessment conducted on individual applicants, ensuring that applicants must undergo the same level of review as they do under current law. This bill simply modernizes the consumer-facing applicant process to reduce the burden on American transportation workers who must maintain more than one TSA credential, such as the Transportation Worker Identification Credentials and Hazardous Materials Endorsements.