Chaffetz to TSA: Parental Consent for Pat-Downs

Elisabeth Meinecke

4/20/2011 3:05:00 PM - Elisabeth Meinecke
In the latest battle of David vs. Goliath, Rep. Jason Chaffetz is taking on the TSA again, this time against the backdrop of a revolting video showing a TSA pat-down of a 6-year-old girl.

Chaffetz has introduced a bill that would call for parental consent before minors are subjected to pat-downs at airport security. A parent would also be allowed to be present for the pat-downs. According to Utah's Daily Herald, Chaffetz's 15 year old daughter was forced to undergo a private pat-down without parents present.

The bill, just introduced, does not specify what would happen if a parent refuses consent for a pat-down of a minor.

Chaffetz has challenged the TSA several times on invasive and unproven security procedures like the full body scan machines and the detailed pat-downs, but TSA continues to be inconsistent in their policy implementations. Back in November, the agency said that there would be modified pat-downs for children under 12, since there was no intelligence -- even internationally -- that children that age were being used in terrorist attacks. However, the video circulating the internet shows no body areas of the 6-year-old girl were off limits in the frisking.

Chaffetz, who called the TSA "inconsistent" in an interview with Townhall, isn't giving up, however, and credits both the public and the media for putting pressure on TSA.

"We're going to continue to pound away on this," Chaffetz said.

After the video of the kid being frisked made its way through the news cycle, TSA has said that they are looking for new ways to move past "cookie cutter" procedures but that the employee followed the proper guidelines.

"I do anticipate and hope the TSA will be issuing new guidelines sooner rather than later," Chaffetz said.