If John Mica gets his way, yes.
A continual critic of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Representative John Mica says that he plans to propose legislation that would return U.S. airport screening to private control rather than the government agency.
The TSA took over aviation security after Sept. 11, and the Florida Republican now leads a committee which will propose that private firms should once again do all airport screening within two years. Mica said:
"I'm telling you, whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or if there are a few independents left, people have had it right up to their eyebrows with TSA. It's not a partisan issue."
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The TSA currently has approximately 58,000 employees, with 50,000 security officers at over 400 airports. However, Mica believes that the agency could function with as little as 5,000 members of staff. Instead of conducting screenings and draining the national budget, the Representative says the agency should only be involved in overseeing and setting the right standard.
Most airports outside of the United States use private firms that are under contract to airports, however, Mica's efforts to privatize will not be met without opposition. Democrat Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, for example, urges caution -- delaying such moves until cost and benefits can be analyzed.
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