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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Waters Remarks on Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act

February 11, 2015
Press Release

Waters Remarks on Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act

 

House Passes Bill Named in Honor of Transportation Security Officer Killed in the Line of Duty at LAX

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In remarks on the House Floor yesterday, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) Ranking Member of Financial Services Committee, urged her colleagues to support H.R. 720, the Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act of 2015. This bipartisan bill would require the Department of Homeland Security to verify all airports have appropriate plans to respond to security incidents.  The bill was originally introduced last year in response to the tragic November 1, 2013, shooting incident at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Rep. Waters' congressional district.  The bill passed the House on a vote of 411 to 1.

 

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

 

"I rise to support H.R. 720, the Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act of 2015.  I would like to thank Congressman John Katko, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation Security of the House Committee on Homeland Security, for reintroducing this bill.  I was proud to join him as an original cosponsor.  I also thank Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, Ranking Member Bennie Thompson, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Kathleen Rice for supporting this bill and bringing it to the Floor for a vote.

 

"This bipartisan bill was originally introduced last year in response to the horrific November 1, 2013, shooting incident at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in my congressional district.  The bill is named in honor of Gerardo Hernandez, the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) who was killed in the line of duty on that tragic day.  As we debate this bill, we offer our deepest condolences to the family of Gerardo Hernandez, and we honor all of the TSO's, police officers, and other first responders who risked their lives to stabilize the situation and protect the public during that terrible incident.

 

"Following the LAX shooting incident, Congress conducted several hearings on the incident, including a field hearing in my district on March 28, 2014.  These hearings revealed serious security lapses, which interfered with response efforts, such as emergency phones and panic buttons that did not work properly, problems in coordination between various police and fire departments, and incompatible radio systems.  These security failures are unacceptable.

 

"The Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act requires the Department of Homeland Security to conduct outreach to airports to verify that they have working plans to respond to security incidents, including active shooter incidents, acts of terrorism, and incidents that target passenger-screening checkpoints like the one where Officer Hernandez was killed.

 

"It is imperative that major airports like LAX have state-of-the-art emergency response systems. The safety and security of our nation's airports and all of the workers and travelers who pass through them is of paramount importance.

 

"I urge my colleagues to support this bill and send it to the President's desk."

 

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