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Rail News: Security

Bill that would standardize federal security clearance for transportation workers enters Senate


U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Angus King (I-Maine), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) recently introduced a bill (S. 3959) that would standardize the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) security clearance process for transportation workers.

Currently, certain supply chain and transportation workers need multiple security certifications and must complete the same background check process several times, requiring a fee each time. The bill would standardize the process so applicants can enroll once at a TSA enrollment center and use an approval to obtain multiple credentials. The reforms won’t modify a backend security assessment conducted on individual applicants, the lawmakers say.

“This legislation will cut through the red tape and streamline the process so workers can get back to moving goods across America, not wasting time and money,” said Wicker in a press release.

A house version of the bill (H.R. 7223) was introduced on Feb. 5. That bill was refereed to the House Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security, while S. 3959 was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

“Transportation professionals often need a variety of security certifications to do their job. However, maintaining so many different credentials takes time, money and can be complicated,” said Fischer. “To ease that burden, our bill will streamline the TSA's certification process without sacrificing security.”

S. 3959 is endorsed by the Association of the American Railroads, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, American Trucking Associations, National Propane Gas Association, Transportation Trades Department, Border Trade Alliance, National Tank Truck Carriers and National Energy and Fuels Institute.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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