What happens to the spare change that passengers traveling through American airports leave behind? The Transportation Security Administration scoops it up and adds the money to its operating budget.
But maybe not for long. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., wants Congress to pass a bill that would require the TSA to donate the money to the United Service Organizations (USO), a private nonprofit that operates centers for the military at 41 US airports, MSNBC reported.
"I think the taxpayers and travelers would think it's more appropriate that that extra change be donated to a group like the USO," he told USA Today.
Miller’s not talking about chump change. In 2010, the TSA collected $409,085 worth of coins, according to its most recent count, USA Today reported. Passengers at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport left $46,918.06 behind, while Los Angeles International Airport passengers dropped $19,110.83.
According to MSNBC, Miller first introduced the bill in 2009, but it didn’t go anywhere. Now, as the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, he’s trying again. Miller told USA Today that he’s considering expanding the bill to also force the TSA to donate useful items passengers forget, like sunglasses, cameras and computers, to the USO.
Miller spokesperson Dan McFaul told MSNBC that the Homeland Security and Transportation committees are considering the bill and that “the immediate focus is to get a hearing and get support.”