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Bill makes targeted investments to reduce excessive wait times at nation’s busiest airports  

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, announced legislation that includes investment to address long wait times at the nation’s airports cleared a key hurdle. The FY2017 Homeland Security Appropriations bill would make targeted investments in personnel, canine teams, and checkpoint technology, and includes funding for an additional 1,344 TSA personnel and 50 new K9 teams. In addition, the bill includes Sen. Murray’s provision to create the Automated Exit Lane pilot program, which would allow Sea-Tac International Airport to use new technology that would allow TSA staff to spend more time on security screening.   

“As passenger traffic continues to break records, it’s critical for security screening to keep pace,” Senator Murray said. “I strongly support commonsense investments to make air security screening smarter, safer, and more efficient for passengers at vital hubs around the country, including Sea-Tac, one of the nation’s fastest growing airports.”

In April, after more than 100 passengers in a single day missed their scheduled flights from Sea-Tac due to long wait times, Sen. Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) urged the head of the Transportation Security Administration to take steps to address wait times ahead of what’s expected to be another busy travel season.

More about the FY2017 Homeland Security Appropriations bill:

The bill is a $48.07 billion measure written to provide security for the American people, and covers aviation security, cybersecurity, border security, disaster mitigation, state and local grants, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously and now moves to the full Senate.