Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, released the following statement in response to the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the deadline for implementation of the Transportation Worker’s Identification Credential (TWIC) will be extended from September 25, 2008 to April 15, 2009. As of April 30, only 260,000 people of an estimated 1.2 million who will need the card had enrolled.
“The TWIC program is an essential component in protecting our nation from potential terror threats, and we must ensure that its implementation is conducted in the most efficient and effective manner. In light of the reported problems in the TWIC rollout thus far, I applaud the decision of DHS to extend the deadline for enrollment. When workers must pay to enroll in a program necessary for them to do their jobs and provide for their families, they have the right to expect reliable, efficient service with little to no interruption to their schedules.
“It is my hope that this extended deadline will be supplemented by the provisions included in the Coast Guard Authorization Act to help improve the TWIC program. This legislation passed in the House by an overwhelming majority, and I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to quickly act on this legislation to enact these commonsense provisions into law