According to NBCNews.com, the Department of Homeland Security sent undercover inspectors through several US airports to review the performance of TSA officers, the screening equipment and their procedures.
The number of people traveling over the holidays is expected to be high as more than 2.4 million passengers per day expected to pass through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints from now until Thanksgiving.
When pressed to get the failure rate, ABC News was told by a source that 80 percent failure was "in the ballpark".
"This agency that you run is broken badly and it needs your attention", Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) told Pekoske.
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Pekoske, a retired vice admiral in the U.S. Coast Guard, was appointed to head the TSA by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate in August.
TSA screeners, their equipment and procedures failed, according to the report.
The Office of Inspector General has made eight classified recommendations based on the undercover operation. It is not clear what those recommendations are. In that investigation, screeners missed 95 percent of smuggled weapons, fake explosives and other contraband.
Members of Congress later blasted the TSA for the findings in a public briefing, calling them "disturbing". Then-Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson responded by opening a training academy for TSA officers and changed up procedures to reduce lengthy lines at airports across the country. New equipment available would create 3D images of luggage to help screeners spot risky items, but it's only in use at two airports so far.
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The technology, which has already been tested in TSA checkpoints in at least two airports, according to ABC News, includes 3D imaging for baggage, allowing more effective ways to spot threatening items.
"We have the technology and resources to do it but we're not doing it because. we're paying for a wall", Rep. Bill Keating, D-Mass., told TSA.
In a statement, the TSA said it took the findings "very seriously", and that it was "implementing measures that will improve screening effectiveness at checkpoints".
"We are focused on staying ahead of a dynamic threat to aviation with continued investment in the workforce, enhanced procedures, and new technologies", Pekoske said.
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