March 31, 2017 1:30 PM, EDT

Senate Panel to Consider Transportation Security Cards Legislation

A bill designed to facilitate the background check process through transportation security cards will be taken up by the Senate Commerce Committee on April 5.

A provision in the Surface and Maritime Transportation Security Act would expand the transportation security card program to allow persons subject to credentialing or background checks to apply for the card.

The legislation also would allow transportation security card holders to obtain hazmat endorsement licenses without additional background checks.

“To keep Americans safe, Congress must continually focus attention on areas of neglect and potential weakness to keep them from becoming targets for terrorism,” committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), said in a statement.

“While much attention has been focused on bolstering security at our airports — train stations and seaports also remain attractive targets for terrorists,” added committee ranking member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

American Trucking Associations is among the groups praising the provision’s inclusion in the bill.

“As it stands now, professional truck drivers are still subject to a number of duplicative background checks and other hurdles in order to move America’s most hazardous freight and access sensitive areas of the supply chain,” ATA President Chris Spear said in a statement.

The Senate hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.