Hassan, colleagues’ bill to provide TSA precheck to disabled veterans passes Senate
WASHINGTON – Legislation from U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH), Todd Young (R-IN), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), to provide certain severely disabled veterans access to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Precheck at no cost has passed the Senate. TSA Precheck is already offered to active duty, reserves, and National Guard service members, and the Veterans Expedited TSA Screening (VETS) Safe Travel Act expands 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. When traveling, passing through airport security with prosthetics, wheelchairs, or other mobility aids presents a challenge.
“For veterans with disabilities, waiting in long security lines and following physically challenging protocols at the airport can create significant barriers to traveling,” said Senator Hassan, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Veterans have made immense sacrifices on behalf of all of us, and I am glad the Senate could pass this legislation to honor their service and improve our support for them.”
Under the VETS Safe Travel Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs would be required to certify that a veteran is eligible. The TSA would then process the veteran’s application, granting access to TSA Precheck at no cost provided they successfully pass the background check and interview process. Additionally, TSA advises that these veterans can use TSA Precheck 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.
The bill is part of Senator Hassan’s ongoing efforts to support veterans. Earlier this week, the Senate passed comprehensive, bipartisan legislation that Senator Hassan and her colleagues developed to deliver to all generations of veterans exposed to toxic substances the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care and benefits that they need. The President signed into law Senator Hassan’s Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act of 2021, which she introduced with Senator Mike Braun (R-IN). The bill directs the VA to create a program to recruit military medical personnel who have less than one year left in their service to work in federal health care occupations at the VA. The Senator also successfully passed into law her bipartisan bill with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) to establish a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.