No matter how much they travel back and forth between their home states and Washington, senators, just like the rest of us, have to jump through hoops—and full-body scanners—to fly these days. Take Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, who commented on her personal experience with airport security at a Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing today. McCaskill said that she's been guilty of going on "about the ridiculous notion that I couldn't take my mascara on an airplane."
But, she says that the issues at hand are much more serious, and that sometimes the public must pay an "uncomfortable price" for their safety. She says she prefers the new advanced imaging technology to the pat down measure. "I have had my love pats every single flight that I have taken, which is at least twice a week for the last four years of my life, because I have a knee replacement," she said. "So, I am wildly excited about the notion that I can walk through a machine instead of getting my dose of love pats."
At her own risk—given the calls, she says, her office has received from her constituents on the new security measures—Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar also praised the use of scanners. "I appreciate the steps forward. I've been a fan of the advanced imaging technology," said Klobuchar. "As someone who has a hip replacement, I've been patted down in front of my constituents on every single flight I've taken, and I kind of welcome this advance imaging technology where you don't have to have a pat down."
Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns wasn't so supportive of the TSA's new protocols. On a recent flight, he said that they made him go through both a pat down and the advanced screening machine, even though he showed them his Senate ID card. "I've often wondered...at what point there's a tipping point," he said. "Take off your belt, take off your coat, take off your shoes, take out your liquids, on and on, and now advanced imaging, and...a very intrusive pat down."