News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – It was the White House Office of Management & Budget that demanded the cut in TSA's budget, not Senate appropriators, that resulted in a reduction of funding for TSA in the Supplemental Appropriations bill, Sen. Patty Murray reminded the White House Tuesday.

Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, appearing at a House hearing on Aviation Security, said that less money would result in fewer TSA employees, less equipment and longer lines.

But it was Mr. Mineta's own Administration colleagues at OMB who had demanded the lower funding level for TSA.

The Administration originally requested $4.4 billion for TSA in the Emergency Supplemental bill. While the Senate Appropriations Committee fully funded the President's request, the House of Representatives cut TSA's requested funding by $550 million to $3.85 billion.

On the eve of a House-Senate conference committee meeting on the Supplemental on Thursday, July 11th, during which conferees were set to approve funding well above the House level, representatives of the White House Office of Management and Budget demanded that TSA receive the lower, House-passed level of $3.85 billion.

The OMB memo called on Congress to "shift to House level" on TSA funding.

Sen. Patty Murray, Chair of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, said: "Mr. Mineta, if you don't like the TSA budget, then talk to the White House. The Senate fully funded the Administration's request for $4.4 billion for TSA. It was in the face of a Presidential veto threat that Congress was forced to accept less funding."

"I am astonished at the gall of this White House. How can they demand cuts to TSA on the one hand and decry those cuts on the other? This White House needs to come clean with the American people and explain that the long lines at airports and the lack of screeners reflect their budget priorities, not those of Congress."

"Congress has put great faith in the President to make good on his promise to upgrade airport security by the end of the year, but that faith has been sorely tested by the President's own Budget Director insisting on TSA funding cuts."