Following a Homeland Security Committee hearing on the Christmas Day terror attack, U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) met with senior representatives of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to discuss the future of advanced imaging technology, also known as whole body imaging.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Congressman Dent presented a line of questioning about the Christmas Day attack and airline security measures to Jane Holl Lute, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; Patrick F. Kennedy, Under Secretary of Management with the Department of State, and Michael E. Leiter, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. (Statements attached, video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/user/CongressmanDent.)

“Based on today’s testimony by Deputy Secretary Lute and my conversations with TSA, I remain confident that quickly deploying whole body imaging technology is necessary to safeguard the American public,” Congressman Dent said. “TSA screening wasn’t part of the problem that enabled the Christmas Day attack, but it certainly can be part of the solution.

“The professionals at TSA face a daunting task: screen an average of 1,250 aviation passengers every minute for the smallest of explosives while trying to allocate scarce resources to mass transit, rail, bus, and other surface transportation priorities. They deserve our thanks.”

In June 2009, Rep. Dent crossed party lines to fight a provision introduced by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) that would place severe restrictions on the TSA’s use of whole body imaging technology at airport checkpoints.

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