U.S. Senate, House reach airport security deal – Republican senator
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives have reached a bipartisan deal to upgrade U.S. airport security in the aftermath of attacks in Brussels and Istanbul, an influential Republican senator said on Wednesday. Senator John Thune of South Dakota, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said the agreement would be formally unveiled later on Wednesday and could be voted on in the House this week and in the Senate by next Friday, after which lawmakers are due to leave Washington for a seven-week summer break.
The legislation represents the most comprehensive set of aviation security reforms in a decade, Thune told reporters at a news conference. Thune said the deal calls for tougher vetting of aviation workers with access secure airport areas, expands the Transportation Security Administration’s pre-check security program to move passengers more quickly out of airport areas that are not secured, and increases the number of police dogs available for security duty in the U.S. transportation system. The bill would also renew programs operated by the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. aviation regulatory agency, which are due to expire. (Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Richard Chang)