MODERN Security Credentials Act of 2011
April 29, 2011
The Honorable Mike Rogers
Committee on Homeland Security
Subcommittee on Transportation Security
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Rogers:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, submits this letter in support of the “MODERN Security Credentials Act of 2011”. As we seek to remove unnecessary burdens from the backs of American businesses, this legislation is effective in harmonizing redundant government credentialing requirements.
The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and the Hazmat Endorsement (HME) are redundant credentials administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Both programs query the same databases for criminal, immigration, and other violations, utilizing the same disqualifying criteria, appeal, and waiver processes. Yet today, transportation workers must pay $94 for a HME to carry hazmat; $132.50 for a TWIC to enter the ports; $50 for a FAST card at the border; and $27 for a Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) badge at each airport - a total cost of $303.50.
The Chamber believes that the redundant fees and background checks of U.S. transportation workers is an unnecessary cost for businesses of all sizes. These sentiments are echoed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which officially added the TSA’s inaction in implementing Section 1556 to its Regulatory Review and Reform (r3) program’s Top 10 list of most egregious regulations on small businesses.
The Chamber commends your efforts to advance this legislation, and is encouraged by past bipartisan support on this issue.
R. Bruce Josten