H.R. 3173, a bill to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to reform the process for the enrollment, activation, issuance, and renewal of a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to require, in total, not more than one in-person visit

Cost Estimate
June 8, 2012

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Homeland Security on May 9, 2012

The Maritime Transportation Security Act (Public Law 107-295) directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to prohibit unauthorized individuals from accessing secure areas of ports, vessels, facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf, and all credentialed merchant mariners. To meet that requirement, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issues credentials with biometric information (known as Transportation Worker Identification Credentials, or TWICs) to workers who require unescorted access to such areas.

Under current administrative procedures, obtaining a TWIC requires at least two in-person visits to a TWIC enrollment center. H.R. 3173 would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to reform those procedures to ensure that individuals seeking a TWIC would need to make one such in-person visit.

The costs of implementing reformed TWIC procedures under H.R. 3173 are uncertain and would depend on specific changes that TSA would make. Current law directs TSA to collect and spend cost-based fees from TWIC applicants to administer the program. For this estimate, CBO assumes that TSA would revise fees to offset any change in TSA’s costs to administer the TWIC program under H.R. 3173. Any such changes to offsetting receipts from such fees and subsequent spending would be considered direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates, however, that any resulting net changes in direct spending under H.R. 3173 would not be significant in any year. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.

H.R. 3173 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.