Cravaack’s TSA bill clears Senate

WASHINGTON – Rep. Chip Cravaack achieved a rare legislative victory in a year generally marked by gridlock on Capitol Hill when the Senate on Monday night unanimously passed his bill authorizing expedited airport security screening for soldiers traveling on orders.

The bill orders the Transportation Security Administration to come up with a plan within 180 days to devise a separate screening procedure for uniformed members of the armed services. As a result of the bill, they should be able to pass through security checkpoints with less intrusive screening. Under the current law, soldiers receive the same level of screening as regular travelers.

Cravaack, a first-term Republican, was inspired to introduce the bill after seeing a service member have to remove his combat boots at an airport checkpoint.

“This is the least we can do for our military personnel and their families traveling our nation’s airports while serving our country,” Cravaack said.

The measure passed the House with overwhelming support on Nov. 29 but must return again to the House for a voice vote before heading to the president’s desk for signature.

On Monday evening, the House also passed another measure proposed by Cravaack that designates the post office in Pine City, MN as the “Master Sergeant Daniel L. Fedder Post Office. The 34 year-old Marine was killed in Afghanistan in August 2010 by an improvised bomb.