TSA agents demanded that libertarian Texas congressmanand his family submit to extensive screening and that their plane be searched for explosives before their small private plane took off from the Clearwater airport in Florida. Paul and his family were leaving after having been at the Republican convention.
Paul, with his wife and a granddaughter, were readying to depart when confronted by eight TSA agents. After reviewing the paperwork for the flight the agents demanded they be allowed to search the aircraft for explosives! The pilots objected.
Carol Paul, his wife, refused to be screened because she has a pacemaker. An aide to Paul began to videotape the whole incident. Eventually the agents backed down and allowed the Paul plane to depart. The alleged video of the event has not yet been released.
Paul has been a vocal critic of the TSA and their security procedures, especially the use of body scanners and invasive pat-downs. He also wrote a bill, the American Traveler Dignity Act, that would prohibit the TSA from performing any activity that is illegal for other citizens.
One section of the act reads as follows:
“My legislation is simple. It establishes that airport security screeners are not immune from any US law regarding physical contact with another person, making images of another person, or causing physical harm through the use of radiation-emitting machinery on another person. It means they are subject to the same laws as the rest of us.
“Imagine if the political elites in our country were forced to endure the same conditions at the airport as business travelers, families, senior citizens, and the rest of us. Perhaps this problem could be quickly resolved if every cabinet secretary, every Member of Congress, and every department head in the Obama administration were forced to submit to the same degrading screening process as the people who pay their salaries.”
No doubt Paul is not popular among TSA staff. For more see this article.