Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 26, 2014

Posts in "Security"

October 23, 2014

United Airlines Sees No Ebola Effect

455739134 445x290 United Airlines Sees No Ebola Effect

United Airlines jets sit at gates at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

United Airlines bookings haven’t been affected by the Ebola outbreak, United’s chief revenue officer Jim Compton said Thursday.

He told investment analysts that the airline’s transatlantic business has “experienced several recent pressures, including Middle East unrest, the Ukrainian conflict, and more recently, concerns about Ebola” but “we have not seen any meaningful impact on bookings to date.”

Full story

October 22, 2014

Bipartisan Accord on Travel Ban? Well, Maybe

brown 01 022410 443x335 Bipartisan Accord on Travel Ban? Well, Maybe

New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There was bipartisan accord in Tuesday night’s New Hampshire Senate debate that barring travelers from three Ebola-affected African countries is, or at least might be, necessary.

And there was bipartisan accord about the need to be bipartisan. And yet Republican candidate Scott Brown repeatedly attacked President Obama’s handling of the Ebola outbreak.

Full story

October 21, 2014

Steady Travel Industry Nerves Needed Amid Ebola Fears

457062030 1 445x296 Steady Travel Industry Nerves Needed Amid Ebola Fears

Travelers at the international arrivals terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

After a plunge in airline stock prices following the first Ebola case in the United States on Sept. 30, those stocks have recovered. Investors in the airline and the hotel industries await the next episode in the Ebola outbreak.

The industries have been understandably guarded in their comments on the outbreak.

Full story

October 20, 2014

The Week Ahead: Distracted Teen Drivers, Earnings Reports & Another Ebola Hearing

170795739 273x335 The Week Ahead: Distracted Teen Drivers, Earnings Reports & Another Ebola Hearing

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney will discuss his company’s third quarter earnings on Wednesday. (Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images)

This week we’ll be watching the Ebola effect on commercial aviation as tighter screening proceeds at five U.S. airports and as the political debate continues over a ban on issuing visas to would-be visitors from three Ebola-affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Some earnings reports out this week will also give an indication of the health of the transportation sector.

Full story

October 16, 2014

Chief Touts FAA Competence In Recovery from Fire

167320961 445x309 Chief Touts FAA Competence In Recovery from Fire

Administrator Michael Huerta of the Federal Aviation Administration (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Amid public concerns about the federal government’s competence in handling emergencies sparked by the Ebola outbreak, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday touted his agency’s success in recovering from the September 26 fire that disabled the air tariff control center near Chicago.

The facility, which manages the airspace over seven Midwest states, was back in full operation on Monday.

Full story

October 15, 2014

Ebola Issue Poses Campaign Opportunities And Risks

gardner 195 062414 445x296 Ebola Issue Poses Campaign Opportunities And Risks

Colorado Republican Senate candidate Rep. Cory Gardner (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With Election Day 20 days away, the Ebola outbreak has become a campaign issue — on that presents as many pitfalls as opportunities.

Rep. Cory Gardner, the Republican Senate candidate in Colorado, will get an opportunity Thursday to demonstrate that he’s engaged in dealing with the outbreak.  Full story

October 14, 2014

European Agency Doubts Value of Ebola Screening

457062036 445x296 European Agency Doubts Value of Ebola Screening

Travelers at the international arrivals terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport where new Ebola screening began Saturday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investing time and money in examining passengers from Ebola-affected countries at five U.S. airports, our colleague Paul Jenks reports that the European counterpart to the CDC came out with a report over the weekend that questions the value of such an effort.

The European agency says entry screening “is likely to have an exceedingly low yield and represents a high investment, which may only contribute to a limited extent, to the prevention of importation of the disease.” More here….

 

October 10, 2014

A Look Back: Ebola Economics, Jihadists With European Passports & Biden On LaGuardia

452534810 445x308 A Look Back: Ebola Economics, Jihadists With European Passports & Biden On LaGuardia

Travelers at Kennedy Airport in New York (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

The risk of Ebola infection and the economic damage Ebola fears could wreak on aviation and tourism were big themes of our week.

As the Obama administration revised its plans to screen air passengers for signs of the deadly infection and as one Ebola-infected patient died in Dallas, some wondered about the efficacy of airport screening. Full story

Full Container Screening Not Feasible, Johnson Says

451153494 272x335 Full Container Screening Not Feasible, Johnson Says

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

One sometimes overlooked part of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s job got attention on Thursday during a question-and-answer session at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Veteran Washington attorney Lloyd Hand asked Johnson to “say a few words about your level of comfort on maritime security, given as much as 90, 95 percent of the goods that come into this country come in these cargo containers.”

Full story

October 9, 2014

Ebola Response: Economics As Well as Epidemiology

144530415 445x310 Ebola Response: Economics As Well as Epidemiology

Lufthansa crew members walk through Hong Kong’s airport in 2003 wearing masks to protect against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). (Photo: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

A couple of times during his Ebola briefing for reporters Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sounded as much like an economist as an epidemiologist.

Frieden noted that the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, which hit China and neighboring countries “cost the world more than $40 billion, but it wasn’t to control the outbreak. Those were costs from unnecessary and ineffective travel restrictions and trade changes that could have been avoided.”

Full story

October 8, 2014

Obama to Brief State & Local Officials on Ebola Counter-Measures

452532232 445x296 Obama to Brief State & Local Officials on Ebola Counter Measures

Travelers at Kennedy Airport in New York City (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

As airport officials and the aviation industry await the next step in the White House’s strategy to contend with the Ebola virus, President Barack Obama will take part in a conference call with state and local officials Wednesday afternoon to discuss the response to the outbreak.

Speaking to an airports industry conference in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday morning, Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas promised that the details of “potential additional measures” for Ebola screening would come “very shortly. We are on it.”

“We are taking a layered approach so that this matter ends where it began,” said Mayorkas at the Airports Council International – North America conference.

Mayorkas underscored the economic significance of travel and tourism by noting that the industry supports nearly eight million jobs in the United States and that since the first quarter of 2010 the industry has created 693,000 new jobs. He added that international travel and tourism supports 1.1 million U.S. jobs.

Although Ebola is not an airborne virus that can be spread by sneezing, it has the potential to affect travel and tourism as did the SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003. The Financial Times reported Wednesday that Ebola fears were cited as the reason for the fall in the stock prices of the parent of British Airways, Spain’s Iberia and EasyJet, the cut-rate airline.

Airports Await Details on Tighter Screening

147826253 1 278x335 Airports Await Details on Tighter Screening

Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/Getty Images)

U.S. airport operators hope to get the details Wednesday of the Obama administration’s proposal for tighter screening of arriving passengers with Ebola symptoms.

Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will address an Airports Council International – North America conference this morning in Arlington, Va. Full story

October 7, 2014

‘Insider’ Threat Remains A Concern For Airports

152760026 445x322 Insider Threat Remains A Concern For Airports

A worker stands next to an American Airlines plane at the Miami International Airport (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Amid concerns about jihadists training in Syria and then returning to Europe or the United States, airport security officials remain focused on a related threat posed by “insiders” — airport employees who could use their access to airport facilities to carry out a terrorist attack.

The topic came up Tuesday at the fall public safety and security conference of the Airports Council International — North America (ACI-NA) in a question and answer session with Melvin Carraway, the deputy administrator of the Transportation Security Administration.

Full story

October 6, 2014

Heritage Foundation Defends Visa Waiver Program

456536184 445x295 Heritage Foundation Defends Visa Waiver Program

A British Airways Airbus A380 arrives at Dulles International Airport from London. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The conservative Heritage Foundation is concerned that, in the face of the threat of jihadist passport holders who are able to come to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, some members of Congress might try to curtail the program.

A Heritage event Monday made the argument that scrutiny of prospective visitors from the 38 visa waiver countries is often tighter than in the traditional face-to face interview required to obtain a visa.

Full story

Efficacy Of Screening At Center Of Ebola Travel Debate

sars1 040703 445x302 Efficacy Of Screening At Center Of Ebola Travel Debate

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The debate continued through the weekend on whether the Obama administration needs to do more to keep people infected with the Ebola virus from flying to the United States or to stop them at U.S. ports of entry.

Late Friday afternoon, Deputy National Security Adviser Lisa Monaco said the administration had already taken steps to ensure that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) workers “are trained to identify symptomatic individuals” who arrive at ports of entry.

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...