What: All Issues : Corporate Subsidies : Airport Security Industry : H.R. 5005. Creation of a Department of Homeland Security/Vote to Exempt Private Airport Security Screening Companies From Liability for Negligent Actions. (2002 house Roll Call 361)
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H.R. 5005. Creation of a Department of Homeland Security/Vote to Exempt Private Airport Security Screening Companies From Liability for Negligent Actions.
house Roll Call 361     Jul 26, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

During debate on the Homeland Security Department consolidation plan, Congressman Armey (R-TX) offered a manager's amendment. Manager's amendments usually make cosmetic changes to the underlying legislation to ease implementation of the law and are usually non-controversial (a "manager" is the lawmaker responsible for leading debate for the majority party on the House or Senate floor). The Armey amendment, however, included a provision which would exempt airport security screening companies from liability for negligent actions. Progressives opposed this provision in the amendment because, in their view, the previously-considered Turner amendment was a more responsible approach for providing legal protections for companies who may have produced or used faulty anti-terrorism technologies such as bomb detectors and luggage-screening equipment (see Roll Call Vote #359). The Armey amendment, they argued, would extend legal protections to negligent actions by Argenbright, Globe Aviation Services, Huntleigh, and other security companies. Progressives pointed out that Argenbright had hired a number of convicted felons for security screening positions. In February of 2002, a Globe security screener fell asleep at a checkpoint and caused the entire Louisville airport to be evacuated as a result. In May of 2002, Huntleigh screeners allowed a man through security with two loaded semiautomatic pistols. The companies responsible for these and other negligent actions, Progressives contended, should be held legally accountable. The Armey amendment was adopted by a 222-204 vote margin.

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