Katko, Wicker Address Potential TSA Workforce Shortage Due To Vaccination Requirement
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, sent a letter to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator David Pekoske requesting an update on the agency’s contingency planning for a potential sizable reduction in its frontline screening workforce because of President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for federal employees.
“Unfortunately, it appears TSA is headed toward a scenario in which up to 40 percent of its workforce may not be compliant with the President’s Executive Order by the November 8 deadline. Such a scenario could have severe impacts on transportation security and the aviation, travel, and tourism industries,” the members wrote.
On September 9, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) requiring COVID-19 vaccination for federal employees. The EO applies to all employees of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including TSA’s frontline airport screener workforce. TSA has stated that about 60 percent of its workforce has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, this leaves 40 percent of the TSA workforce potentially ineligible for employment after November 8, 2021.
Read the full letter here.