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Homeland Security Transportation Security Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on TSA’s Surface Inspection Program

June 4, 2012

The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, chaired by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), held a hearing entitled “TSA’s Surface Inspection Program: Strengthening Security or Squandering Scant Resources?” tomorrow at 2 p.m. in 311 Cannon House Office Building.

In 2005, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) created the Surface Transportation Security Inspection Program (STSIP) to provide oversight and assistance to the surface transportation industry. Originally created to enforce security regulations for mass transit and freight rail, the role of surface transportation security inspectors has increased and the size of the program’s workforce has more than doubled since 2008.

The Subcommittee examined the efficiency and efficacy of this program in helping to secure our Nation’s mass transit systems, freight rail, highways, and pipelines, compared to other surface transportation security initiatives, such as the Transit Security Grant Program. Members will have the opportunity to discuss the program with industry stakeholders.

Rogers said: "The budget for TSA's surface inspection program has quadrupled in the last several years. Meanwhile, some stakeholders have expressed concern about the value of the program and questioned whether it provides a tangible security benefit. Given the reality that terrorists see surface transportation as a very attractive target, we owe it to taxpayers to take a close look at TSA's inspectors program and determine whether this is a good use of limited resources, or if this funding would be better spent on other surface initiatives designed to prevent an attack. We can’t screen everyone and everything that gets on a train, truck, or bus. So, intelligence sharing, deterrence, and detection measures are extremely important. This hearing will be an opportunity to hear from stakeholders about how TSA can do a better job of allocating its surface resources."

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