The following is the text of a news release from the American Waterways Operators:
(ARLINGTON, Va.) — Last week, the Transportation Security Administration began nationwide implementation of a highly anticipated program that reforms the unnecessarily burdensome process by which mariners and other transportation workers receive required Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC). The TWIC OneVisit program eliminates the requirement that workers make two trips to a TWIC enrollment center to pick up and then activate their TWIC. Under the new, streamlined process, a mariner can apply for a TWIC at an enrollment center and opt to receive the credential by mail.
AWO President and CEO Tom Allegretti called the nationwide OneVisit rollout a victory for the nation’s maritime employees, stating that “full-scale implementation is the result of five years of grassroots outreach and bipartisan congressional leadership to reform an inefficient government mandate that hurt working Americans. We extend our deep gratitude to congressional leaders of both parties who fought to make this program a reality.”
Allegretti specifically thanked the original co-sponsors of the TWIC OneVisit legislation and key committee leaders who played an instrumental role in advancing it through Congress: Reps. Steve Scalise, R-La.; Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Peter King, R-N.Y.; Candice Miller, R-Mich.; Cedric Richmond, D-La.; Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Don Young, R-Alaska in the House of Representatives, and, in the Senate, Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; Mark Begich, D-Alaska; Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and David Vitter, R-La. Allegretti noted that each had a critical part in overseeing TSA’s work to roll out the program.
“The road to achieving OneVisit has been a long one, but the result is improved public policy that retains high standards of security while reducing burdens on American transportation workers,” said Allegretti. “Our members and our champions refused to give up, because this program addresses a serious stumbling block for men and women seeking employment in the maritime sector. Our industry is proud of the family-wage jobs and the ladder of career opportunity available to maritime employees. OneVisit helps preserve our industry’s economic vitality and will make a real difference to millions of American workers.”