Rather than let the Transportation Security Administration continue to use unclaimed money to fund its operations, the House on Tuesday voted to turn the proceeds over to nonprofit groups such as the USO to provide airport rest areas for members of the military and their families.
The TSA Loose Change Act, which passed on a voice vote, heads to the Senate.
Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, got the idea for the measure while passing through a checkpoint. What may seem like a small amount of change nickels, dimes, quarters, pennies amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and can make a significant difference if used wisely, Miller told colleagues Tuesday.
TSA collected $531,395 in fiscal 2012, according to the agency.
Passengers at Miami International Airport left behind $39,613 in fiscal 2012; travelers at Chicagos OHare International Airport left $22,115; Los Angeles International Airport passengers left behind $21, 916; and $21,201 was left by passengers at New Yorks John F. Kennedy International Airport.