Sen. Begich Meets with Rep. Cissna After Congressional Testimony
Reaffirms concern with TSA screening tactics
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today met with Alaska State Rep. Sharon Cissna following her testimony before a House subcommittee on her recent TSA screening experience in Seattle. After registering his own concerns with the TSA last month, Begich told Cissna he supports her position that the TSA went too far when singling her out for a pat-down screening last month after she had gone through a full-body scan. Cissna, a breast-cancer survivor who had a mastectomy, refused the pat-down and took a ferry back to Alaska.
"The TSA has to find a balance point of protecting the public, while respecting individual privacy and especially those who have already gone through traumatic situations such as illness or other major events," Begich said. "Like many Alaskans, Representative Cissna is not shy about standing up for what she thinks is right, and I am pleased she came to DC to testify before Congress about her experience," Begich said
Late last month, after Rep. Cissna's experience in Seattle, Sen. Begich told TSA Assistant Administrator for Security Operations Lee Kair the screenings of certain individuals, like those with prosthetic devices, is too invasive and erodes a person's dignity. He also secured a commitment from Kair to have the TSA meet with representatives from a variety of victims assistance groups from Alaska to develop a more sensitive screening policy which respects the trauma individuals have encountered.
Begich's office has received several complaints from Alaskans who have had similar experiences with the TSA.
Rep. Cissna today testified before the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, a Subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. She told the committee Alaskans are forced to use air travel to get to many locations, and don't have a choice when it comes to traveling by air and being subjected to TSA procedures. Begich met with Rep. Cissna in his Washington office shortly after her testimony.