US Senate Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act Introduced

The US Senate companion bill (number not yet assigned) to the House Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act (H.R. 5840) was introduced by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) along with Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Angus King (I-ME). The bill was introduced in the House last year by Representatives Garret Graves (R-LA), Adam Smith (D-WA), Mark Green (R-TN), Michael Guest (R-MS), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), and Dina Titus (D-NV).

The Energy Marketers of America (EMA) endorsed the Transportation Security Screening Modernization Act last year in a letter to House lawmakers which would direct the Department of Transportation to work with the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to eliminate costly background check redundancies within the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME), and TSA PreCheck programs. The nation’s supply chains are continually impacted by bureaucratic red tape requiring our nation’s essential workers to undergo many different security clearances to do one job. For example, a driver operating a truck with hazardous materials from a port must receive credentials from multiple Federal agencies, including Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This cumbersome process hinders America’s supply chain from operating at its full capacity.

“By combining each of the different steps along the credentialing process into one cohesive process, this legislation will help eliminate this logjam and get these drivers out on the road more quickly while, at the same time, maintaining the same levels of scrutiny,” said EMA President Rob Underwood. In fact, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had recommended these steps be taken in 2007 especially since all it does is smooth out an unnecessarily cumbersome credentialing process.

Passage of the bills will be a major benefit for energy marketers who already face major hurdles in hiring qualified CDL drivers.