Senators Push for Increased Rail Security
Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Corey Booker want background checks of employees and TSA involvement in security measures at train stations around the country.
“I don’t want to imply that we’re going to have metal detector screening for every passenger to enter Penn Station,” Blumenthal told the New Daily News. “But the TSA needs to propose a plan and consider the latest technologies and best practices, (and) make judgments about the highest risk at the most vulnerable facilities.”
Both Senators pointed out that rail and transit networks carry more people per day than airlines do.
Sen. Blumenthal said TSA spends about $124 million a year on surface transportation security, which is a small amount, just two percent of the $5.6 billion spent on aviation security.
In a letter to the TSA, Sen. Blumenthal made note that Congress passed the Implementing Recommendation of the 9/11 Commission Act, requiring the TSA to create a framework addressing the threats on our railways. He said that as of August 2015, nothing has been finalized. “Action on many Congressional mandates has languished for far too long….The legislation was enacted in August 2007 and these items were all due within one year of that date," the letter said. "As of August 2015 – over seven years since the last deadline – we still do not have final action on these requirements."