Young and Duckworth Introduce Bill to Provide TSA Precheck to Disabled Veterans
WASHINGTON– U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) today announced bipartisan legislation that would provide disabled veterans TSA Pre√® at no cost.
TSA Pre√® is already offered to active duty, reserves, and National Guard service members at no cost. The Veterans Expedited TSA Screening (VETS) Safe Travel Act would expand this program to include veterans who are amputees, paralyzed, or blind. There are approximately 70,000 amputee veterans, 100,000 paralyzed, and 130,000 blind veterans in the United States currently. When traveling, passing through airport security with prosthetics, wheelchairs, or other mobility aids presents a challenge.
“Our wounded warriors deserve the utmost gratitude and respect. This legislation is one way we can help improve the lives of veterans, like my colleague Senator Duckworth, who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to serve our nation,” said Senator Young.
“Millions of Veterans have sacrificed a great deal in service to our nation and returned home with service-connected disabilities. For those of us who rely on prosthetics and wheelchairs for mobility, air travel and passing through airport security can be a challenge,” said Senator Duckworth.“I’m proud to join Senator Young in introducing this bipartisan legislation to make TSA Pre√® available at no cost to these Veterans and make flying and passing through airports a little easier and less intrusive.”
Under the VETS Safe Travel Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs would be required to certify that a veteran is eligible. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would then process the veteran’s application, granting access to TSA Pre√® at no cost provided they successfully pass the background check and interview process. Additionally, TSA advises that these veterans use TSA Pre√® in conjunction with calling the TSA Cares hotline 72-hours prior to departure to ensure expedited screening.
The legislation is supported by the Wounded Warrior Project, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Honor Flight Network, Disabled American Veterans, and the American Legion.
What they are saying:
“The Veterans Expedited TSA Screening Safe Travel Actwill provide many severely injured and disabled veterans a more dignified experience when passing through security checkpoints at our nation’s airports,” said Lt. Gen. (ret.) Mike Linnington, CEO of Wounded Warrior Project.“On the behalf of the millions of American veterans whose lives we aim to improve, we thank Senators Todd Young and Tammy Duckworth for their concern and leadership on this important issue, and for their great fidelity to our nation’s veterans.”
“The members of Paralyzed Veterans of America routinely encounter barriers when traveling by air,” said Shaun Castle, deputy executive director for Paralyzed Veterans of America.“The ability for our members to access the expedited screening process available through TSA Pre√® without cost will help to alleviate one of their pain points in the air travel process. We are pleased to support the VETS Safe Travel Actand look forward to its swift passage.”
“An expedited TSA screening process is invaluable in transporting the approximately 25,000 veterans the Honor Flight Network sends annually through our national airports to Washington D.C. Based on our positive history with the expedited screening process, the Honor Flight Network is in full support of this bill,” said Meredith Rosenbeck, CEO, Honor Flight Network.
“Airport security can be an extraordinary challenge for seriously disabled people using prosthetics or mobility devices, as many of our members have attested over the years. DAV enthusiastically supports the bipartisan-supported VETS Safe Travel Act to help make air travel easier and less stressful for severely injured veterans, and we thank Senators Young and Duckworth for their continued commitment to the well-being of the men and women who served,” said Disabled American Veterans National Commander Dennis Nixon.
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