WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, reintroduced bipartisan legislation to provide some veterans with disabilities with TSA Pre√®. Senator Hassan joined Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Rob Portman (R-OH) in reintroducing the bill.
“No one likes the hassle of airport security, but for some veterans with disabilities, waiting in long security lines and following physically challenging protocols can be a significant barrier to air travel,” said Senator Hassan. “Veterans make tremendous sacrifices to keep us safe, secure, and free, and this is one commonsense way that we can honor their service.”
TSA Pre√® is already offered to active duty, reserves, and National Guard service members at no cost. The Veterans Expedited TSA Screening (VETS) Safe Travel Act will expand this program to include veterans who are amputees, paralyzed, or blind when passing through airport security with prosthetics, wheelchairs, or other mobility aids presents a challenge.
Under the VETS Safe Travel Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs would be required to certify that a veteran is eligible. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would then process the veteran’s application, granting access to TSA Pre√® at no cost provided they successfully pass the background check and interview process. Additionally, TSA advises that these veterans use TSA Pre√® in conjunction with calling the TSA Cares hotline 72-hours prior to departure to ensure expedited screening.
The legislation is supported by the Wounded Warrior Project, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Honor Flight Network, Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American, VetsFirst, and the American Legion.
Senator Hassan is working to ensure that veterans in New Hampshire and across the country have access to the resources and services that they need and have earned. Senator Hassan recently joined Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to introduce the bipartisan Recognizing Military Service in Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Act, which would allow service members who pause their student loan payments while deployed or on extended active duty orders to count that period of time toward their student loan forgiveness – which is currently not allowed. The American Rescue Plan that Senator Hassan helped pass into law strengthens veterans’ health care services, including to support mental health and telehealth, and also includes significant funding for job training to help veterans get good-paying jobs. Senator Hassan also helped secure key priorities for Granite State veterans in the bipartisan veterans package that was signed into law earlier this year, including the Deborah Sampson Act, which Senator Hassan joined in introducing to eliminate barriers to care and services that many women veterans face. The bipartisan package also included a number of other measures cosponsored by Senator Hassan, including supporting veterans experiencing homelessness, helping veterans safely dispose of unwanted medication, and helping address the high rate of unemployment among veterans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.