In his fourth year in office, U.S. Rep. John Katko has achieved a milestone.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed legislation sponsored by Katko, R-Camillus, that delays the implementation of a rule requiring high-risk ports to have biometric readers for employees with Transportation Worker Identification Credentials. The bill was approved by voice vote.
It is the 30th bill sponsored by Katko that has passed the House either as standalone legislation or as part of a larger legislative package since he took office in 2015.
"In a time of gridlock in Washington, I've consistently worked across the aisle to be an independent and productive representative for central New York, and I'm proud to have passed my 30th bipartisan bill through the House," he said in a statement Wednesday.
Katko, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Transportation and Protective Security, introduced the Transportation Worker Identification Credential Accountability Act in response to concerns from industry leaders about how to comply with the biometric mandate. His bill would delay the rule until a study is completed on the effectiveness of the Transportation Worker Identification Credentials program.
The deadline to comply with the so-called "reader rule" is Aug. 23. Katko explained that without guidance from the Department of Homeland Security, it has become "nearly impossible" for industries to implement the readers.
"The bipartisan measure passed through the House yesterday evening will ensure greater transparency from DHS and enable a more responsive and collaborative process in implementing any future rule," he said.
With the passage of the bill in the House, Katko has equaled his first term performance. The House passed 15 of his bills during the 2015-16 session.
Three of Katko's bills have been signed into law by either Presidents Barack Obama or Donald Trump. The tally doesn't include measures he authored that were included in larger bills signed by the presidents.
Katko's work on his most recent bill and his complete legislative record were recognized by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, supported the legislation and believes it will prevent onerous regulations from being imposed.
"I applaud Rep. Katko on passing this important piece of legislation and on his record of passing 30 similarly strong bills over the past two Congresses," Scalise said.