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Rep. Rush Holt, New Jersey Democrat and a physicist who held a briefing on scanning technology this year, has called for Congress to freeze funding for “backscatter” scanning technology until the Government Accountability Office can report on its safety and effectiveness.

“I appreciate the challenges we face in trying to prevent terrorists from boarding American airliners,” Mr. Holt said in a Nov. 19 letter to TSA administrator John Pistole. “That same background also gives me an understanding of why TSA’s current obsession with fielding body-imaging technology is misguided, counterproductive and potentially dangerous.”

Rep. John L. Mica, the Florida Republican who is expected to lead the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee when his party takes control of the House next year, already has criticized the TSA’s procedures and asked whether it’s necessary for airports to use the TSA instead of private security firms.

Another issue involves the push for collective-bargaining rights for airport security screeners. The Federal Labor Relations Authority agreed last month to allow screeners to vote on their union representation, and collective bargaining has been for them a long-sought goal.

That concerns Mr. Paige, who remarked that “as a former member of the United Auto Workers, I can tell you that the quality of service may go down if collective-bargaining rights are granted.”

One element of the debate that’s rarely mentioned, he said, is whether local entities can figure out ways to do the job better.

“It’s not just about [screeners] getting friendly, customer service or groping,” Mr. Paige said. “It’s seeing whether local airports can experiment and get the same level of security with different methods.”