House Transportation Chairman Threatens To Subpoena TSA Boss
Republican congressman John Mica (Fla.) continued his quixotic war with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last week when he slammed the agency for failing to show at a hearing last Thursday on universal pilot’s licenses. “I can assure you, we’ll have the TSA testify at some point in the future, maybe in a joint hearing with Homeland Security,” Mica said. “We’ve got to get some responsiveness from an agency that, for some reason, doesn’t want to respond.” A paper nameplate for TSA Administrator John Pistole was displayed at the witness table throughout the 90-minute hearing on the long-delayed plan to create a pilot certificate with a photo and embedded biometric data. Congress asked the TSA, FAA and other agencies in 2004 to create such a biometric ID for pilots. In a statement, the TSA said that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which Mica chairs, does not have oversight over the TSA under the House’s own rules. “The TSA reached out to chairman Mica to explain its reasons for declining the invitation, and looks forward to continuing to work with him and other members of Congress,” the agency said. But according to Mica, the TSA also refused to meet behind closed doors.