(WASHINGTON)- A Republican-backed bill in the House designed to remove the officer title from federal airport screeners does nothing but add insult and disrespect to workers performing essential duties at an agency key to this country's security, the American Federation of Government Employees said today.
"Every single member of Congress should be supporting federal employees, not trying to demean them," AFGE National President John Gage said. "This bill has nothing of significance, certainly does nothing to add to our national security, and - at a point where Congress should be focused on the budget, economy, jobs, etc. - is a complete waste of time.
"Reps. Blackburn, Mica and their other cohorts in the House need to stop bullying the TSA workforce, and maybe just worry about doing their own jobs," Gage said. "Instead of actually helping to fight terrorism, they are inspiring the type of unnecessary and disrespectful behavior by a few members of the public with an agenda that in fact diverts attention from securing American skies.
"These members of Congress should get an award for the biggest waste of time and money," Gage said. "Other than maybe a Google search, it doesn't seem like there was any research done so I guess they saved money there. But for this ridiculous bill to be developed and introduced must have required staff writing, counsel approval, trying to get cosponsors, staff briefings, and on. That's a lot of effort for a little pettiness. I think the American public deserves to know how much of their taxpayer money went into this.
"If there are any legitimate complaints about TSA policies and procedures, take them up with the agency that created them," Gage added. "TSA workers follow those procedures as instructed. Those who would attack workers for following procedure should think twice and maybe take up a hobby."