The U.S. Senate has again approved a bipartisan proposal authorizing disabled military veterans to speed through airport security lines at no extra cost.
U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. — co-sponsors of the Veterans Expedited TSA Screening (VETS) Safe Travel Act — said following Thursday’s unanimous vote they’re grateful all their Senate colleagues could get behind the plan, which now goes to the House.
“The VETS Safe Travel Act was written for veterans with disabilities who dread the airport because of the indignities they will endure at security checkpoints,” Young said.
“This bill will help veterans travel easier by providing them with PreCheck benefits. I’m glad our bill finally passed the Senate, and I urge the House to pass it quickly.”
Records show similar legislation also was approved by the Senate without opposition in 2019. It failed to advance in the House, and the measure expired when the 116th Congress adjourned Jan. 3, 2021.
If enacted this time around, the VETS Safe Travel Act would permit disabled veterans to enroll at no cost in the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program.
PreCheck passengers typically are not required to remove their shoes, laptop computers, liquids, belts or light jackets at airport security checkpoints, and generally can bypass security lines at most airports.
Enrollment requires a background check, fingerprinting and an $85 fee for a five-year membership. It’s already offered free to active duty military, reserve and National Guard members.
Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in 2004 when Iraqi insurgents shot down the U.S. Army helicopter she was co-piloting, said the legislation will benefit many veterans with service-connected disabilities.
“For those of us who rely on prosthetics and wheelchairs for mobility, air travel and passing through airport security can be a challenge,” Duckworth said.
“I’m proud the Senate passed this bipartisan legislation to make TSA PreCheck available at no cost to these veterans and make flying and passing through airports a little easier and less intrusive, and I hope we can get it to President Biden’s desk soon.”
Indiana, Illinois senators remain focused on improving air travel for disabled veterans