Fed up with waiting: TSA administrator faces tough questions from Congress

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief Peter Neffenger testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 25, 2016, before the House Homeland Security Committee which is looking for answers on how to balance security with long lines at airport checkpoints. (AP PhotoJ. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — After wait times at some of the nation’s busiest airports stretched on for nearly three hours, the head of the Transportation Security Administration faced tough questions from Congress about how the agency plans to handle a busy summer travel season.

On Wednesday, Peter Neffenger stressed the TSA is working to improve customer relations and improve employee morale. Despite the promises, members of the House Homeland Security Committee demanded more answers about how the bureaucracy plans to adapt to growing threats to aviation security.

“The crisis didn’t come out of nowhere. Airports and airlines have been sounding the alarm for months,” Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, said during opening statements on Wednesday morning.

The TSA added an estimated 15,000 travelers are signing up for Pre-check, which allows for faster screening through background checks, per day. Some members of Congress remain concerned about conditions at airports across the globe which have direct flights to the United States.

“For instance, airports like Cairo lack full-body scanners to detect non-metallic IEDs, and they lack access to comprehensive terrorist watch lists for screening their employees,” added Rep. McCaul.

For the latest on the hearing in real-time, follow @markpmeredith on Twitter:

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