A bipartisan bill introduced by two members of the Senate
transportation committee would streamline the process for law enforcement
officers and individuals with federal security clearance to be approved for TSA
Under the Secure Traveler Act, introduced May 7 by
transportation committee chairman Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Gary Peters
(D-Mich.), "persons in position of public trust" would not have to
undergo a second background check for PreCheck. Instead, the TSA would rely on background
checks those individuals underwent as they obtained federal clearance and their
law enforcement positions.
"This would not only expedite their application process
and incentivize their participation in the programs, but it would free up
capacity to screen other noneligible applicants," Thune's office said.
The applicants would still have to pay the standard $85 fee
for five years of PreCheck membership.
The U.S. Travel Association, a strong backer of trusted-traveler
programs, lauded the bill.
"Those serving in positions of public trust have
already undergone a stringent vetting process," said the organization's
vice president of public affairs Tori Barnes. "Eliminating a duplicative
background check for these individuals will facilitate Precheck enrollment,
helping to reduce wait times and alleviating pressure on an already
stretched-thin TSA workforce."
The legislation included a provision that would expand expedited
clearance to trusted-traveler programs Global Entry, Sentri and Nexus.