Proposed Bill Would Strip Airport Screeners of Title, Uniform, Badge

A bill introduced to Congress on Thursday would strip airport screener’s of their “officer” title, their badges and possibly their uniforms.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) introduced the “STRIP Act” – which stands for “Stop TSA’s Reach In Policy Act” – after the recent numerous complaints about alleged strip searches by TSA agents.

The bill would ban airport screeners from wearing their metal badge – which resembles a police badge – and strip them of their “officer” title. Also, unless the screener had received law enforcement training, they would not be allowed to wear a uniform that resembled that of a federal law enforcement officer.

Screeners are unarmed, do not have arrest powers and cannot use force on travelers, according to the TSA.

“Congress has sat idly by as the TSA strip-searches 85-year-old grandmothers in New York, pats down 3-year-olds in Chattanooga, and checks colostomy bags for explosives in Orlando. Enough is enough!,” said Blackburn, an outspoken critic of the TSA.

Others feel differently about the bill.

“Every single member of Congress should be supporting federal employees, not trying to demean them,” said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

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Published: December 12, 2011