What to do with the Half-Million Dollars Travelers Leave at TSA Checkpoints Every Year?

Thursday, November 21, 2013
(photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been raking in about $500,000 each year at security checkpoints as a result of passengers leaving behind their spare change.


Federal law allows TSA to keep or spend the money, which is in addition to the annual appropriations it receives from Congress.


But Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives now want to limit what TSA does with the money. They have introduced legislation, H.R. 1095, the TSA Loose Change Act (pdf), which would require the agency to donate the coinage to charities that “provide certain travel-related assistance to military personnel and their families.”


The bill has already been approved by a subcommittee that oversees TSA.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

What Should TSA Do With $500,000 in Pocket Change? (by Eric Katz, Government Executive)

TSA Loose Change Act (Congressional Budget Office) (pdf)

TSA Releases Airport Confiscation List; Items Include Chastity Belts, Samurai Swords, Bag of Eels (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

TSA Defends Confiscating Professor’s Cupcake (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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