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House passes Katko's bill that aims to improve trusted traveler programs
WASHINGTON

House passes Katko's bill that aims to improve trusted traveler programs

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A bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Katko that would improve PreCheck and other trusted traveler programs has been approved by the House of Representatives. 

The House passed the Trusted Traveler Reconsideration and Restoration Act by voice vote on Monday. The legislation has been sent to the Senate for consideration. 

Katko's bill contains two main provisions, including a mandate that the comptroller general conducts a review of the Department of Homeland Security's trusted traveler programs. The legislation requires the review to examine the department's redress procedures for individuals who are disqualified from the programs and how travelers are informed about being reconsidered for enrollment. 

The legislation would also provide relief to participants who have their trusted traveler status mistakenly revoked. The relief would entail extending their trusted traveler plan by a period equal to the length of the delay, according to the bill. 

Katko, who is the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, thinks the bill is an essential first step in improving the trusted traveler programs. 

"DHS Trusted Traveler Programs are key to making screening procedures more efficient for both pre-vetted travelers and security personnel while keeping our nation's airports safe," he said. "However, as the lead Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, I recognize there's more to be done to enhance the long-term effectiveness of these programs." 

The Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck is among the trusted traveler programs offered by the department. These programs usually involve a pre-vetting process — for PreCheck, a threat assessment is conducted — and once enrolled, travelers receive expedited screening at airports. 

Katko's bill was the first he introduced in the 117th Congress, which began in January. His measure had two Democratic cosponsors — U.S. Reps. Elissa Slotkin and Bonnie Watson Coleman. 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at auburnpub.com.

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