Young, Duckworth, Hassan, Portman Reintroduce Bill to Provide TSA Precheck to Disabled Veterans
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Tammy Duckworth’s (D-Ill.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) today reintroduced their bipartisan legislation to provide disabled veterans TSA Pre√®.
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 will 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.
“As a Marine, I swore always to remain faithful to those serving by my side. That includes ensuring our veterans receive the care and respect they are due after they return home. As we return to travel, some veterans with disabilities dread the airport because of the indignities they will endure at security checkpoints,” said Senator Young. “My VETS Safe Travel Act has the potential to help the 70,000 amputee, 100,000 paralyzed, and 130,000 blind veterans currently subjected to a rigorous and demeaning screening process when traveling by providing them PreCheck benefits.”
“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 re-introducing this bipartisan legislation to make TSA PreCheck available at no cost to these Veterans and make flying and passing through airports a little easier and less intrusive.”
“No one likes the hassle of airport security, but for some veterans with disabilities, waiting in long security lines and following physically challenging protocols can be a significant barrier to air travel,” said Senator Hassan. “Veterans make tremendous sacrifices to keep us safe, secure, and free, and this is one commonsense way that we can honor their service.”
“Our disabled veterans have served our country honorably, and as a result of their injuries, have to live with daily challenges. Getting through airport security screening should not be one of them,”said Senator Portman. “The least we can do for our most disabled veterans is make it easier and less invasive to get through airports. Making TSA PreCheck available at no cost is one way of doing just that.”
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, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American, VetsFirst, and the American Legion.
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