D.C. – An amendment to the Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act
which would have forbidden TSA from employing people convicted of violent
crimes, terrorism, crimes against children and sex crimes split Maine’s two
members to the United States House of Representatives this week.
House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R – California) blasted the Democratic opposition to the amendment after the vote, saying, “The socialist wing of the Democratic Party controls the floor. A Democratic member, Congresswoman Underwood, had the amendment and wanted to offer it. It was pulled back by leadership because the socialist wing of the party did not want to have that amendment go forward on this bill.”
watched when it was offered, overwhelmingly, the majority of the House would
like to see the TSA not hire terrorists, or those who’ve been convicted of
sexual misconduct with minors and others. But the socialist wing of the party,
that controls, now, the Democratic Party, said that could not be offered,” said
But still, 174
Democrats, including Rep. Chellie Pingree banded together to vote against the amendment.
Among those joining Pingree were Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib,
Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Steny Hoyer. Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not cast
a vote on the amendment. Maine’s other Representative to the House, Rep. Jared
Golden, voted in favor of the amendment, joining 40 other Democrats in voting
with Republicans to roll the amendment into the larger bill.
of California announced the arrest and prosecution of a former TSA screener
resulting from an FBI investigation,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko (R – Arizona) during
the floor debate.
to the criminal complaint, the TSA screener used fraud or deceit to falsely imprison
a woman going through security,” said Rep. Lesko.
went on to say that while the screener in the incident she described was
fortunately fired, under the proposed bill without the amendment, that screener
could stay on the payroll for months or years. Lesko also recounted a litany of
other misconduct by TSA employees across the country.
“We have two
options today,” said Lesko. “Adopt the Underwood amendment and keep sexual predators
off of the federal payroll or reject it and reward sexual predators with a paycheck
from the taxpayer.”