Washington (September 9, 2021) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today announced reintroduction of legislation to bolster funding for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and its workforce, ensuring that the agency has the necessary resources to protect America’s air travelers, pay its dedicated Transportation Security Officers (TSOs), and invest in twenty-first century security technology.
The Funding for Aviation Screeners and Threat Elimination Restoration (FASTER) Act would specifically end the diversion of the 9/11 Security Fee, which is a $5.60 fee that every traveler pays when they buy a plane ticket and is meant to help finance the cost of protecting our nation’s aviation system. In 2013, Congress began diverting one-third of the revenue generated by this security fee to pay for unrelated programs. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 – the last full year before air travel was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic – more than $4.25 billion was collected in security fees, but $1.36 billion was diverted away from aviation security. Unless current law is changed, more than $19 billion in total will be diverted by FY 2027. The FASTER Act would eliminate this diversion, redirect billions of dollars back to the TSA, and prevent Congress from raiding these funds in the future.