The much-reviled US Transport Security Administration (TSA) is not the only responsible party for long security lines at US airports during the recent holiday weekend. Much of the blame also goes to Congress as it has refused to lift the restrictions, imposed about 10 years ago, on the number of TSA airport security screeners.
Congress capped the number of full-time workers screening luggage and passengers at 46,000 after creation of the TSA in 2003. It recently renewed the cap on federal screeners – despite the surge in air passengers over the last decade. Having more passengers in security lines without an increase in screening staff leads to longer lines.
A recent measure by TSA to simplify screening procedures by relaxing small-knife carrying rules was also shelved after facing stiff opposition from Congressmen and other groups.