Our wonderful TSA reached new lows recently with their pat down of a baby and a groping of a MIss USA contestant that reduced her to tears. And they’re finally beginning to reap some pushback.
The Texas House of Representatives late on Thursday approved a bill that would make invasive pat-downs at Texas airports a crime, after a former Miss USA said she felt “molested” at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport last month.
Transportation Security Administration agents could be charged with a misdemeanor crime, face a $4,000 fine and one year in jail under the measure.
The proposal would classify any airport inspection that “touches the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person including through the clothing, or touches the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person” as an offense of sexual harassment under official oppression.
Of course, TSA will respond to this by shunting everyone into the X-ray scanners — at least until Texas outlaws them too. But I like the idea of the states wresting his issues from the Feds, who clearly don’t give a shit and will support anything as long as it has a big red “security” label on the front.
Or maybe not. Congress is moving too. The House Appropriations just put out its draft budget.
The bill includes $7.8 billion for the TSA, an increase of $125 million over last year’s level, and $293 million below the President’s request. These funds will be used to sustain the current cap level of 46,000 full time screening personnel, and for explosive detection systems, security enforcement, cargo inspections, Federal Air Marshals, and other TSA activities. The bill also includes an additional $10 million to address air cargo threats. However, the bill does not provide $76 million requested by the President for 275 additional advanced inspection technology (AIT) scanners nor the 535 staff requested to operate them.
This is just a minor thing in the ongoing budget war (we hit the debt ceiling today). But maybe … just maybe … someone’s getting the message.