U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander today released the following statement on legislation that passed the Senate regarding recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, which he opposed because of language inserted by the Democratic majority that would extend collective bargaining rights to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners:
“The Democratic majority has turned this legislation upside down. It was supposed to be about making Americans safer. Instead, it has become a political payoff to big labor that would make air travelers less safe. The 9/11 Commission did not recommend it, and I will not vote for it. And if the President vetoes it, I will vote to uphold his veto.”
Most of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations were addressed in previous sessions of Congress. Today’s bill included provisions the 9/11 Commission did not recommend, such as granting collective bargaining rights to TSA screeners, which the Department of Homeland Security has said could threaten the safety of air travelers by reducing its flexibility to adjust to new threats.
Along with 36 of his Senate colleagues, Alexander signed a letter to President Bush in February pledging to sustain a veto of the bill if TSA collective bargaining is not removed.