TSA was once praised by Congress for serving on the front lines to protect the nation from another terrorist attack, but its public stumbles -- including its overpayment of contractors by hundreds of millions of dollars and reports that its security screeners still fail to catch guns and knives at checkpoints -- have made it a target for criticism on Capitol Hill. Already, the Federal Air Marshal service has left TSA to join another division of Homeland Security. It also lost its science and technology division to another part of the agency. TSA officials said they are reorganizing staff responsible for rail, truck and maritime transportation.
"TSA is beginning to look like a corporate entity, not a government entity," said Stephen D. Van Beek, an airport lobbyist, noting that much of the agency's funding now comes from fees that travelers pay through airline tickets.