Thursday, November 13, 2014

#tbt: Straus calls TSA bill "Publicity Stunt"

"He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."
Proverbs 29:1

The greatest hits, from 2011:
The TSA anti-groping bill hit another roadblock when the House adjourned today without considering the legislation as scheduled. “Our plane was not full to capacity,” House Speaker Joe Straus said, hinting that the House did not have a quorum present to pass the legislation. But that wasn't the only reason the bill wasn't heard.

“The bill, without some serious revisions, appears to me to be nothing more than an ill-advised publicity stunt, unenforceable…[and] misdirected at uniform security personnel,” Straus said. He argued the bill should be aimed “at Washington, at the bosses of these people."

The bill would criminalize "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly touching" the "sexual organs" of someone during a security screening at a public facility, including airports. Although it passed unanimously out of the House during the regular session, the bill died in the Senate after the Department of Justice threatened to shut down Texas airports if the legislation passed. In a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy said the federal government would be forced to cancel flights in Texas if TSA could not effectively screen passengers to ensure the safety of all flights.

The Longview Republican who authored the bill, David Simpson, said he’s not surprised the bill was not considered today. Straus approached Simpson earlier this week and asked him to change the language of the bill. “The first thing I was asked to do was remove the section that refers to private parts,” said Simpson. He was also asked to reduce the standard for searching people in the bill from “probable cause” to “reasonable suspicion.” Simpson did not agree to change the language, but said he would have accepted an amendment, if it was supported by the House, to change the language in the bill.

Today, Straus — showing a degree of public adamance not seen much this session — said the bill will never be considered on the House floor "as written."
 Read the whole thing here.

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