TSA Draws Rage for $50M Uniform Deal, Knives Policy

Agency accused of being tone-deaf, making flight attendants 'sitting ducks'

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 7, 2013 6:05 AM CST

(Newser) – Just a week before the sequester kicked in, the TSA signed a deal to spend $50 million on new uniforms, reports Politico. The agency calls the uniforms a necessity, but for many on Capitol Hill it was just another sign of the TSA's cluelessness. "When we’re losing essential services and they’re closing down or threatening to close down all sorts of important government activities, to have them cut the deal on $50 million for uniforms is absolutely outrageous,” complains a Florida Republican.

The TSA's recent announcement that it will allow small knives on flights—but still not full size shampoos and toiletries—is also angering many, including the families of people killed on 9/11, reports the AP. "I'm really disgusted by this latest news," said a woman whose firefighter son was killed at the World Trade Center. Given that the 9/11 hijacks used simple box cutters, others suspect the next rules were made more for TSA screeners' convenience than safety. The agency's employees "have a difficult time seeing these knives on X-ray screening, which lowers their performance testing rates," said a woman whose brother was pilot on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. Also upset, according to the Consumerist: Air marshals and flight attendants, who are both appealing the decision. "Flight attendants are going to be sitting ducks," says a top air marshal.

A TSA employee advises travelers that liquids are not allowed through the gate at at the Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
In this Aug. 3, 2011 photo, a Transportation Security Administration officer discovers unallowable liquids in a passenger's carry on luggage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser)
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