- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. Peter DeFazio met with a top official from the Transportation Security Administration after the Oregon lawmaker complained about being singled out for special security screening at Portland International Airport.

Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reported that the 12-term Democrat lost his temper and denounced the security as “stupid” on Monday.

DeFazio told The Associated Press on Tuesday he was unhappy about being singled out for security screening, but denied the newspaper’s account that he caused a “ruckus” that drew extra security officers.

“I didn’t lose my temper. I was not happy and I told them it was a stupid practice,” DeFazio said.

He said he had gone through electronic screening upon boarding a flight in Eugene and was pulled out of the line in Portland on his way to make a connecting flight to Washington.

“TSA is off track here and we are going to try to fix the policy,” said DeFazio, a longtime member of the House Transportation aviation subcommittee.

DeFazio met Tuesday with Lee Kair, assistant TSA administrator for security operations. A TSA spokeswoman declined immediate comment.

The dispute marks the second time this month a member of Congress has been involved in an airport security incident. TSA officials are reviewing a report that Sen. David Vitter, R-La., set off a security alarm March 5 when he opened a gate door in his rush to catch a flight last week at Washington Dulles International Airport.

In a statement, Vitter said he accidentally went through a wrong door at the gate leading to the plane he was trying to board.

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