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                                                      Calendar No. 436
114th Congress      }                                   {       Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session         }                                   {      114-244
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       

 ESSENTIAL TRANSPORTATION WORKER IDENTIFICATION CREDENTIAL ASSESSMENT 
                                  ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                H.R. 710

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                 April 25, 2016.--Ordered to be printed



                                  ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

59-010                      WASHINGTON : 2016












       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                    one hundred fourteenth congress
                             second session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
 ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
 MARCO RUBIO, Florida                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
 KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
 TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
 DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
 JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  ED MARKEY, Massachusetts
 DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey
 RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TOM UDALL, New Mexico
 DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  JOE MANCHIN, West Virginia
 CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY PETERS, Michigan
 STEVE DAINES, Montana
                       Nick Rossi, Staff Director
                 Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director
                    Rebecca Seidel, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director
                 Clint Odom, Democratic General Counsel
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                                                      Calendar No. 436
114th Congress      }                                   {       Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session         }                                   {      114-244

======================================================================



 
 ESSENTIAL TRANSPORTATION WORKER IDENTIFICATION CREDENTIAL ASSESSMENT 
                                  ACT

                                _______
                                

                 April 25, 2016.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 710]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (H.R. 710) to require the Secretary 
of Homeland Security to prepare a comprehensive security 
assessment of the transportation security card program, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 710, as amended, is to require a 
comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of the 
Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, 
and require a corrective action plan that addresses concerns 
raised by the Comptroller General, and during the comprehensive 
assessment.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEEDS

    Shortly after September 11, 2001, Congress called for the 
establishment of a common credential for personnel requiring 
unescorted access to secure areas of the national 
transportation system. The TWIC program was developed in 
response to legislative provisions in the Aviation and 
Transportation Security Act of 2001\1\ and the Maritime 
Transportation Security Act of 2002,\2\ and in accordance with 
Government standards for secure credentials. The Transportation 
Security Administration (TSA) manages applicant enrollment, 
background checks, and the issuance of TWICs, and the United 
States Coast Guard (USCG) develops security regulations and 
ensures industry compliance. As of April 2014, the TSA had 
issued nearly 3 million credentials to transportation workers, 
including merchant mariners, port employees, and truck drivers, 
with 2 million cards seeing regular use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\P.L. 107-71.
    \2\P.L. 107-295.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While the TWIC program was initially intended to apply to 
all transportation sectors, there have been significant 
challenges in the maritime sector. As recently as February 
2015, the TSA reported TWIC enrollment delays of more than 60 
days and recommended that applicants apply for their TWICs at 
least 10 to 12 weeks early.\3\ Those delays and recommendations 
occurred despite a statutory obligation to respond to the 
applicant within 30 days.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Journal of Commerce. 2015, May 4. TSA reports processing delays 
for TWIC cards. Retrieved from http://www.joc.com/regulation-policy/
transportation-regulations/us-transportation-regulations/tsa-reports-
processing-delays-twic-cards_20150324.html.
    \4\P.L. 111-281, Section 818.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee also remains concerned by the duplication of 
vetting between the TWIC program and other Government-issued 
credentials, as well as the need for some transportation 
workers to obtain two costly credentials. The Implementing 
Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (Public Law 
110-53; 121 Stat. 266), states that ``an individual who has a 
valid transportation employee identification card issued by the 
Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is 
operating under section 70105 of title 46, United States Code 
[i.e., a TWIC], shall be deemed to have met the background 
records check required'' for licensed drivers with hazardous 
materials endorsements.\5\ Furthermore, the TSA itself 
determined that the Security Threat Assessment required for 
issuance of a TWIC is the same background check required for 
licensed drivers with hazardous materials endorsements.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\P.L. 110-53.
    \6\72 Federal Register at 3508, January 25, 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition, the fee for a TWIC, which is valid for 5 
years, is $128. Between August 2012 and December 2014, the TSA 
offered an Extended Expiration Date TWIC. Through that 
initiative, a worker holding a valid TWIC could extend a 
credential for 3 years at a cost of $60.\7\ Workers with 
current and comparable background checks, including truck 
drivers with a Hazmat Commercial Driver License Endorsement 
(HME) or Merchant Marine Credential, pay a reduced fee of 
$105.25. The cost of the TSA's hazmat background check is 
$89.25. While the TSA has worked to harmonize the credentials, 
a truck driver who needs both a TWIC and an HME would still be 
forced to pay $89.25 for an HME background check, and $105.25 
for a reduced fee TWIC, even though the driver has already 
completed the required security threat assessment. The 
Committee looks forward to receiving an up-to-date third-party 
analysis of the program's vetting standards and overlap, and 
potential legislative proposals to address these concerns.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\U.S. Congress. Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, 
Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives 
``Threat, Risk, and Vulnerability: The Future of the TWIC Program.'' 
(Date 6/18/13). Retrieved from http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-
113hhrg85688/html/CHRG-113hhrg85688.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to concerns with the TWIC application and 
vetting process, the program's ability to enhance security 
remains in question. In May 2011, the Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) issued a report entitled, ``Transportation Worker 
Identification Credential: Internal Control Weaknesses Need to 
Be Corrected to Help Achieve Security Objectives.'' In that 
report, the GAO found numerous problems with the TSA's 
administration of the TWIC program. Most notably, the GAO 
investigators were successful in accessing ports using 
counterfeit TWICs, authentic TWICs acquired through fraudulent 
means, and by offering false business cases.\8\ The report also 
found that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not 
have adequate internal controls to assure that only qualified 
individuals were able to acquire TWICs. The GAO suggested 
actions in that report that the DHS could implement to assess 
the effectiveness of the TWIC program. Congress also required 
that the TSA and the USCG conduct the GAO-recommended 
assessment before publication of the card reader rule (see 
below), but all four of the GAO's recommendations remain 
open.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\U.S. Government Accountability Office, Transportation Worker 
Identification Credential: Internal Control Weaknesses Need to Be 
Corrected to Help Achieve Security Objectives, GAO-11-657, May 10, 
2011.
    \9\This assessment was required by the Consolidated Appropriations 
Act, 2014 (P.L. 113-76).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The GAO issued another report on the TWIC reader pilot 
project in April 2013 entitled, ``Transportation Worker 
Identification Credential: Card Reader Pilot Results are 
Unreliable; Security Benefits Need to Be Reassessed.'' While 
the TSA did complete a pilot program on the effectiveness of 
the TWIC program, the GAO determined that the TSA's results 
``cannot be relied upon to make decisions regarding the TWIC 
card reader rule or the future deployment of the TWIC 
program.''\10\ The GAO conducted its own assessment and found 
that, due to a number of vulnerabilities, the TWIC program 
would have difficulty in carrying out its mission of enhancing 
maritime security. The GAO made this conclusion following its 
assessment of the results of the TSA pilot, a comparison of 
those results to the program's legislated requirements, and 
through undercover testing of the TWIC program's ability to 
provide access control at four maritime ports. The GAO 
recommended that Congress halt the DHS's efforts to promulgate 
a final regulation on TWIC card readers until the successful 
completion of a security assessment of the effectiveness of the 
TWIC program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\U.S. Government Accountability Office, Transportation Worker 
Identification Credential: Card Reader Pilot Results are Unreliable; 
Security Benefits Need to Be Reassessed, GAO-13-198, May 8, 2013.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 22, 2013, the DHS issued a notice of proposed 
rulemaking on card reader requirements for the TWIC 
program.\11\ The USCG estimates that the rule will be 
promulgated in 2016. H.R. 710, the Essential Transportation 
Worker Identification Credential Assessment Act, will not delay 
the implementation of the reader rule, but will prevent further 
regulatory action until the issuance and review of the 
comprehensive assessment and the corrective action plan.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\78 Federal Register at 17781, March 22, 2013.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee looks forward to an analysis that considers 
whether an alternative credentialing approach, including a more 
decentralized option, could better achieve the TWIC program 
goals. Finally, the Committee looks forward to reviewing a 
third-party analysis of the benefits of the TWIC program, and 
the costs to government, industry, and workers.

                         SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS

    If enacted, H.R. 710, as amended, would do the following:
     Require the Secretary of Homeland Security 
(Secretary) to commission a comprehensive assessment of the 
TWIC program within 60 days of the date of enactment. The 
assessment would be completed by a national laboratory or a 
university DHS Center of Excellence.
     Require the Secretary to submit a corrective 
action plan to address any concerns identified in the study.
     Require review of the corrective action plan by 
the DHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
     Delay further rulemaking on the TWIC program until 
deficiencies are addressed.
     Require semi-annual reports to Congress for three 
years on the status of the corrective action report 
recommendations.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    H.R. 710 was introduced in the House of Representatives on 
February 4, 2015, by Representative Jackson Lee of Texas. The 
bill passed the House by voice vote on February 10, 2015. On 
May 20, 2015, the Committee met in open Executive Session and, 
by a voice vote, ordered H.R. 710 to be reported favorably with 
a manager's amendment offered by Chairman Thune.

                            ESTIMATED COSTS

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

H.R. 710--Essential Transportation Worker Identification Credential 
        Assessment Act

    H.R. 710 would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to 
assess the effectiveness of the Transportation Worker 
Identification Credential (TWIC) program. That program was 
established under the Maritime Transportation Security Act 
(MTSA), which requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to 
provide a biometric security credential for personnel who 
require unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA-regulated 
facilities and vessels and for all mariners who hold 
credentials issued by the U.S. Coast Guard. Based on the 
findings of the proposed assessment, H.R. 710 would direct the 
Secretary to identify and implement corrective actions 
necessary to improve the effectiveness of the TWIC program and 
would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to 
report to the Congress on the status of those efforts. Finally, 
H.R. 710 would specify conditions that would pertain to certain 
rulemakings related to the TWIC program.
    Based on information from the Coast Guard and GAO, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 710 would cost about $1.5 
million in 2016, assuming appropriation of the necessary 
amounts. That estimate is based on the historical cost of 
studies and analyses undertaken by those agencies that are 
similar in scope to those envisioned under the legislation. 
Enacting H.R. 710 would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 710 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

                           REGULATORY IMPACT

    Because H.R. 710 does not create any new programs, the 
legislation will have no additional regulatory impact, and will 
result in no additional reporting requirements. The legislation 
will have no further effect on the number or types of 
individuals and businesses regulated, the economic impact of 
such regulation, the personal privacy of affected individuals, 
or the paperwork required from such individuals and businesses.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    This section would designate the bill's short title as the 
``Essential Transportation Worker Identification Credential 
Assessment Act.''

Section 2. Comprehensive security assessment

    This section would require a comprehensive assessment of 
the TWIC program be completed by a national laboratory or 
maritime security university-based center within the DHS 
Centers of Excellence network.
    This section would require a two-phase assessment of the 
TWIC program which will review both the TSA credentialing 
process and the implementation of the TWIC reader rule. The 
assessment will include an evaluation of whether the TWIC 
program addresses security risks in the maritime environment, 
whether previous GAO deficiencies have been addressed, and a 
cost benefit analysis of the program.
    The bill would further require that the DHS submit a 
corrective action plan to address deficiencies identified in 
the comprehensive assessment. The DHS OIG is directed to review 
the corrective action plan to ensure it addresses the concerns 
raised by the assessment and previous GAO recommendations.
    This section also would delay the issuance of any 
additional final rules relating to the TWIC reader program 
until the DHS OIG certifies that the report is responsive to 
the GAO's concerns and that a new list of approved TWIC readers 
is issued.
    This section also would require semi-annual reports to 
Congress on the implementation of the corrective action plan.

Section 3. No additional funds authorized

    This section would provide that no additional funds are 
authorized to be appropriated for the study, and the study 
should be funded through existing DHS appropriations for 
research.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.

                                  [all]