WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) – Veterans with disabilities can dread the airport a little less now thanks to a bill that passed the Senate with unanimous consent. The bill, The Veterans Expedited TSA Screening(VETS) safe Travel Act, will provide TSA Precheck (Pre√®) for disabled veterans for free.
The bill was authored by U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill).
“Millions of Veterans have sacrificed a great deal in service to our nation and returned home with service-connected disabilities. For those of us who rely on prosthetics and wheelchairs for mobility, air travel and passing through airport security can be a challenge,” said Senator Duckworth. “I’m proud the Senate passed this bipartisan legislation to make TSA Precheck available at no cost to these Veterans and make flying and passing through airports a little easier and less intrusive, and I hope we can get it to President Biden’s desk soon.”
Officials estimate there to be about 70,000 amputee veterans, 100,000 paralyzed veterans and 130,000 blind veterans who will benefit from this while traveling.
“The VETS Safe Travel Act was written for veterans with disabilities who dread the airport because of the indignities they will endure at security checkpoints. This bill will help veterans travel easier by providing them with Pre√® benefits. I’m glad our bill finally passed the Senate, and I urge the House to pass it quickly,” said Senator Young.
The bill requires that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the TSA collaborate to provide Pre√® to eligible veterans. The VA will also be required to provide outreach to those eligible to make them aware of this benefit. Veterans can also call the TSA Cares hotline 72-hours prior to their trip to get Pre√®.
The legislation is supported by: the Wounded Warrior Project, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Honor Flight Network, Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American, VetsFirst, and the American Legion.