Massive Change for US Airports Under Republican Proposal

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Senator Mike Lee called for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to be abolished on Monday, a proposal that would change the way Americans travel.
The TSA is the federal agency tasked with overseeing safety measures for mass transportation in the United States, with its scope including air travel, rail travel and highways. It was created in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center amid an environment of heightened concerns about national security.
Today, the agency is best known for performing security checks on anyone traveling through a U.S. airport. But it has faced some scrutiny from conservatives, who argue it violates peoples’ rights while doing little to keep Americans safe while traveling through the sky.
Lee, a Utah Republican, argued that the agency should be dissolved in a post to X, formerly Twitter.
Travelers go through security checks at the Denver International Airport. Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah said he believes it is time to abolish the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Travelers go through security checks at the Denver International Airport. Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah said he believes it is time to abolish the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). John Moore/Getty Images
“It’s time to abolish the TSA,” he wrote. “Airlines can and will secure their own planes if a federal agency doesn’t do it for them. They’ll do it better than TSA, without undermining the Constitution and with less groping—showing more respect for passengers. Share if you agree.”
Lee offered few details about how such a program would be implemented, including if there would be national security standards, or if each airline could set its own policies.
Newsweek reached out to Lee’s office and the TSA for comment via email.
His proposal faced scrutiny from critics on X.
“Can’t violate the Constitution if you just violate people’s privacy rights with non-state actors!” wrote attorney Anthony Michael Kreis.
“I’m sure the airlines would love to pick up the cost of metal detectors and I’m sure they won’t pass that cost down to travelers at all…” wrote Amy McGrath, a former Democratic Senate candidate in Kentucky.
“I mean, doors are flying off of planes mid-flight due to corporate mismanagement in favor of profit and when airlines used to secure their own planes Mohamed Atta flew 4 of them into our buildings killing thousands. But whatever you have to say to perform crazy for MAGA, Mike,” wrote Democratic strategist Jennifer Holdsworth.
Critics of the TSA, however, agreed that it should be abolished, while others said only some changes are needed.
“TSA fails 95% of their red team audits. They are a useless agency that exists solely to secure government contracts for screening machines,” wrote podcaster Steve Friend.
In 2015, an internal TSA probe found that undercover investigators successfully brought mock explosives or banned weapons through security checkpoints in 95 percent of trials, according to an ABC News report.
“I actually used to support this myself. I no longer support outright abolishing the TSA, and I certainly don’t support leaving terrorism prevention to the airlines, but I *do* support repealing a lot of the ‘security theater’ policies,” wrote journalist Matthew Chapman.
The TSA was created by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, passed by Congress on November 19, 2001, later becoming part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003. According to the agency’s website, it makes up one-quarter of the DHS workforce, with 65,000 employees across the country.

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