Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) reintroduced her bill, the Honoring Our Fallen TSA Officers Act, legislation that would amend federal law to ensure that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees killed in the line of duty receive the same death benefits that other federal law enforcement officers already receive.
“Transportation Security Officers are often the first line of defense against threats to our aviation, railways, ports, and transportation systems,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “Our nation should provide fallen TSA officers and their families with the same benefits made available to the families of other federal law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, such as firefighters and police officers. It is the right thing to do.”
“I fully support Congresswoman Brownley’s legislation. It is only right that the families of Transportation Security Officers who die in the line of duty be provided death benefits from the Public Safety Officer’s Benefits Program,” said Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), Ranking Member on the House Committee on Homeland Security.
“TSA Officers put themselves at risk every day to protect the flying public. Their families deserve the same death benefits that other federal officers receive when tragically killed in the line of duty. It’s time we do right by those who protect us every day,” said J. David Cox Sr., the National President of American Federation of Government Employees.
Brownley first introduced this bill in the 113th Congress in response to the shooting death of Gerardo I. Hernandez at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), on Friday, November 1, 2013. In March, Congress passed a stand-alone provision in the FY2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Act to provide Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB) to Mr. Hernandez’s family. Brownley’s bill would ensure that all fallen TSA officers and their families receive PSOB benefits going forward.
TSA is comprised of nearly 50,000 security officers, inspectors, air marshals, and managers who protect the nation’s transportation systems by screening for explosives at checkpoints in airports, inspecting rail cars, patrolling subways with law enforcement partners, and working to make all modes of transportation safe.
Also, today, the House passed and sent to the President’s desk the “Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act of 2015” (H.R. 720). Congresswoman Brownley was an original co-sponsor of the bill, which would require TSA to develop airport security plans, enhance officer training, and improve interoperable communications capabilities at airports nation-wide. This legislation was developed in response to the 2013 tragedy at LAX.
The text of the Honoring Our Fallen TSA Officers Act is attached to this release.