Pascrell Calls on TSA to Examine Reducing PreCheck Program Cost for Veterans
Rep. Pascrell wrote a letter urging the TSA to consider waiving or reducing $85 application fee for access to expedited traveler screening program
PATERSON — In a letter, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) urged Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator Peter Neffenger to examine the feasibility of instituting a program that would allow veterans to participate in the TSA PreCheck program free of charge or with a discounted application fee, which is currently available for active service members. Text of the letter is below.
"Our nation’s veterans have a long, well documented history of brave and honorable service to protecting our country. Given the sacrifice these men and women have made, they should not incur fees that are waived for others," said Congressman Pascrell, a veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. "I am concerned that the program’s required application fee may be prohibitively expensive for some, and I look forward to a working with TSA to alleviate this burdensome cost for veterans."
"Many veterans are on tight budgets," said Colonel Carl A. Singer (retired), National Commander, Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A. "Waving the $85 processing fee for veterans would be an appropriate action in recognition of all that our veterans have done for this great country."
Background on TSA PreCheck
Established in 2011, the TSA PreCheck program allows over 3 million low-risk travelers to go through a more efficient and expedited screening process to board airline flights. The TSA uses pre-screening capabilities to make intelligence-based risk assessments on passengers who voluntarily participate in the TSA PreCheck program at over 180 airports and on 16 airlines. The $85 application fee allows individuals to be eligible for TSA PreCheck programfor 5 years. The fee covers the administrative cost of the program, including background checks, vetting analysis, associated technology and enrollment center costs. At this time, members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves and National Guard, may have the application fee waived. Additionally, Department of Defense and U.S. Coast Guard civilian employees are eligible to have the application fee waived. You can find more information about the TSA PreCheck program here.
Text of the letter:
August 24, 2016
The Honorable Peter Neffenger
Transportation Security Administration
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 20598
Dear Administrator Neffenger:
I applaud the steps that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has taken to honor the service of our veterans. The implementation of the expedited Wounded Warrior Screening Program has addressed the needs of wounded service members while also maintaining necessary security at our airports. Additionally, TSA’s effort to bolster the agency’s recruitment of veterans enhances our federal workforce and provides important job opportunities for veterans once they return home. In the same vein, I am writing to inquire about ways TSA can make the TSA PreCheck program more accessible to our nation’s veterans.
While I understand the application fee covers the administrative cost of the program, including background checks, I am concerned that the $85 fee may be prohibitively expensive for many veterans. These brave men and women have a long, well documented history of service to our nation. In some cases, they received security clearances and underwent periodic reinvestigations, which should make the background check process simpler to complete. Given the sacrifice our nation’s veterans have made, I urge you to examine the feasibility of instituting a program that would allow veterans to participate in the TSA PreCheck program free of charge or with a discounted application fee.
Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to your response.
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress