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Senate Proceeding on Feb 7th, 2011 :: 1:31:30 to 1:40:45
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Roger F. Wicker

1:31:27 to 1:31:49( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: bill, that if you are sitting on the ground in a closed act for more than three -- in a closed aircraft for more than three hours, the airline must let the doors open and let the passengers get off. so there are a lot of things that we need to put in law. we have made a good start and i would just ask my colleagues to give us their amendments, if

Roger F. Wicker

1:31:30 to 1:40:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Roger F. Wicker

Roger F. Wicker

1:31:50 to 1:32:11( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: they have them, let's work the through them, and then leat move this bill. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. wicker: mr. president? snrr mississippi. mr. wicker: thank you, mr. president. i ask that my amendment, number 14, be modified with changes which i have sent to the desk. the presiding officer: is

Roger F. Wicker

1:32:12 to 1:32:35( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: there an objection? without objection, the amendment is so modified. mr. wicker: and, secondly, i ask unanimous consent that the following two senators be added as cosponsors to my amendment:, senator collins and senator coburn. the presiding officer: without objection. so ordered. mr. wicker: thank you, mr. president.

Roger F. Wicker

1:32:36 to 1:32:56( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: earlier i called up my amendment -- actually last week -- which would prohibit t.s.a. employees from entering into collective bargaining agreements. now, a lot has happened since i called up my amendment. the transportation security administrator announced his

Roger F. Wicker

1:32:57 to 1:33:18( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: intent on friday to proceed with allowing t.s.a. security employees to collectively bargain. this would reverse a decade of policy, since the inception of t.s.a. actually. currently t.s.a. employees are not allowed to collectively bargain.

Roger F. Wicker

1:33:19 to 1:33:41( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: the 2001 law that created t.s.a. gives this decision to the administrator, and previous administrators have understood that collective bargaining agreements for t.s.a. could compromise our nation's security. t.s.a. employees have been treated like those of the

Roger F. Wicker

1:33:42 to 1:34:02( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: f.b.i., c.i.a., and the secret service for purposes of collective bargaining. these personnel are treated very we will by our government and taken care of in other ways. but because of the security concerns, collective bargaining

Roger F. Wicker

1:34:03 to 1:34:24( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: is not prohibited for those security personnel. frankly, i think many observers would conclude that the current administration is intent on doling out rewards to comain supporters -- to campaign supporters and, therefore, is moving to reverse this decades' old decision and allow for

Roger F. Wicker

1:34:25 to 1:34:49( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: collective bargaining around t.s.a. employees. on november 12, 2010, the federal labor relations authority decided t.s.a. employees will be allowed to vote in union representation and then the decision came along friday to allow them to have collective bargaining rights. i don't believe our country

Roger F. Wicker

1:34:50 to 1:35:11( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: needs 50,000 t.s.a. screeners to to be part of a union. but the obama administration does. adding workers to union rolls has been a high priority of the administration since day one. as i pointed out, the f.b.i., the c.i.a., and the secret service do not have collectively

Roger F. Wicker

1:35:12 to 1:35:32( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: bargaining rights because union demands could limit the ability of those responsible for security at some of the high-risk targets, and ham per them in -- and hamper them in getting their job done. let me just reverse a little bit of history.

Roger F. Wicker

1:35:33 to 1:35:55( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: when a british airliner bombing plot was uncovered, the t.s.a. overhauled security procedures in a matter of 12 hours to deal with the threat of liquid explosives. they had to act very quickly and flexiblably. it is difficult to imagine that kind of flexibility under inflexible union rules.

Roger F. Wicker

1:35:56 to 1:36:17( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: in 2006, following a severe snowstorm, 0 local t.s.a. employees were unable to get to the airport, but t.s.a. was able to fly personnel in temporarily from other airports to cover these snowed-in personnel. this helped keep the airlines moving and the security lines moving.

Roger F. Wicker

1:36:18 to 1:36:41( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: i wonder how collective bargaining would have impacted t.s.a.'s ability to be flexible, to be quick on their feet and to move personnel around? there's also the issue of testing and rollout of software to protect the privacy of passengers, utilizing advanced imaging technology.

Roger F. Wicker

1:36:42 to 1:37:03( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: should be done on the basis of national security and passenger safety and privacy concerns and not delayed because of union concerns or intervention in the management of t.s.a. employees. i would reiterate, t.s.a. has existed for almost 10 years

Roger F. Wicker

1:37:04 to 1:37:24( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: without collective bargaining. and there is no legitimate policy reasoning to change in procedure at this time. working with senator collins, who i believe is prepared to speak also today, i have modified my amendment to make it clear that t.s.a. employees have

Roger F. Wicker

1:37:25 to 1:37:45( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: the a baseline protections that almost all of our federal employees have while preserving the flexibility needed to give our nation safe. the modified amendment would codify the 2003 t.s.a. agreement.

Roger F. Wicker

1:37:46 to 1:38:08( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: we do not need to limit the flexibility to emerging and evolving threats. my amendment would allow the merit systems protection board to hear actions such as demeigses or firings, so t.s.a. employees will have the same protections as other federal security employees.

Roger F. Wicker

1:38:09 to 1:38:30( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: and also these modifications accepted unanimously today would codify protections urchedz the whistle-blower's protection act. it would create an employee engagement act. this simply adds the protections into the statute. i would also point out, mr. president, that it is the

Roger F. Wicker

1:38:31 to 1:38:51( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: public employees' union contracts that states are grappling with today. several of our states are literally facing bankruptcy because of the expensive and burdensome government union employee contracts. illinois, nother, california -- the governors on a bipartisan

Roger F. Wicker

1:38:52 to 1:39:14( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: basis are struggling to get out from under these burdens and to free their states from these expensive public employee union contracts. they're causing the bankruptcy of states. now, in the united states government, we have the ability to deficit-spend, and that's quite a problem. we'll spend $1.5 trillion this

Roger F. Wicker

1:39:15 to 1:39:36( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: fiscal year that we don't have, and the american public is demanding that we do something about it. it is unimaginable to me that under those circumstances, the obama administration is taking action which can only make t.s.a. more expensive and make dealing with our employees there

Roger F. Wicker

1:39:37 to 1:39:57( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: more costly and add to the debt. i don't see any way around it. as states and localities are moving in one direction, here comes the obama administration and swimming upstream on this issue, proposing to add to the public employee union collective

Roger F. Wicker

1:39:58 to 1:40:21( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: bargaining regime some 40,000 to 50,000 additional americans. i don't see how we can afford that. i don't see how it helps secure the -- or helps our nation to adopt some more burdensome requirements, and i don't see thousand helps national security. so, i would urge my colleagues

Roger F. Wicker

1:40:22 to 1:40:42( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: to vote in favor of wicker amendment number 14. that vote may occur as early as tomorrow morning. but i would urge the option of this. this is an issue that is not going to go away. it is going to be taken up in the other body. we're going to be following this issue and it's something that i think americans feel strongly

Roger F. Wicker

1:40:43 to 1:40:45( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: about.

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