Skift Take

After a decade of complaining that the TSA focused too much on the little things and not on real threats to an airplane's safety, a number of politicians and long-time critics are taking the TSA to task for making adjustments that will allow them to focus on the big things.

Two U.S. senators said they will offer a bipartisan amendment aimed at overturning the Transportation Security Administration’s “foolhardy” plan to let passengers bring small knives on commercial flights.

Permitting knives in airplane cabins puts passengers and flight crews at an unacceptable risk, Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, and Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, said in a statement today.

“We can’t simply sit on our hands and allow TSA to enact this foolhardy plan to let knives back onto airplanes,” Schumer said, in the statement. “Knives are every bit as dangerous today as they were on September 11th.”

The TSA will start permitting U.S. airline passengers to carry pocket knives beginning April 25. Since the decision was announced March 5, Congress has been besieged with complaints from unions representing flight attendants, pilots and airport screeners.

TSA has said it made the change to align the U.S. with international security standards and let screeners focus on the bigger threat of terrorists using explosives made out of liquids to blow up a plane.

The Schumer-Murkowski measure would direct congressional committees to adjust their budget allocations to prohibit the TSA from implementing the knives policy. The measure has to be approved by the full Senate, passed by the House and signed by President Barack Obama before it could go into effect.

Editors: Bernard Kohn, Elizabeth Wasserman. To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Plungis in Washington at [email protected]. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at [email protected]


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