Cruz Proposal Blocked

( – Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) plan to provide special airport security escorts for legislators and judges facing credible threats was blocked from making it into the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill.

The senator advocated for the measure, which would have allowed Congress members, judges and Cabinet officials to receive security escorts and special screenings if federal law enforcement considered them threatened.

However, Cruz’s input fell apart due to opposition from Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS), the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee.

This proposal sought to align security protocols with those afforded to senior administration officials and other high-ranking public figures who already benefit from special screenings.

Currently, regular legislators undergo standard TSA checks regardless of their status compared to some administration officials who are exempt.

An insider revealed that Thompson blocked the provision after the TSA received the backing of congressional and the Biden administration leaders who opposed expanding the eligibility criteria for special escorts.

The TSA reportedly campaigned actively against the measure by falsely claiming it would cover all Congress members.

In response to the provision’s removal, Thompson stated:

“I’m glad that sanity prevailed and this provision – which almost no one really wanted – wasn’t included in the final FAA bill text. Hopefully this issue is now put to rest. Congress should be focusing on improving TSA and keeping our skies more secure, not burdening its workforce and potentially diminishing security,”

Thompson has consistently argued that such special treatments for lawmakers would overburden TSA agents, cause excessive costs and introduce unnecessary security risks.

Cruz’s proposal initially made it into the FAA reauthorization in February but was put aside the following month when Congress passed a clean extension, set to expire on May 10, to allow more time for negotiations on a full bill.

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network executive director Kevin Murphy also criticized the proposal. Peters cited security concerns and Murphy emphasized the strain it would place on airport police.

According to those involved in its drafting, the proposal was designed to benefit only a small group of legislators and judges who were under serious threat.

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