White House ‘Not Aware’ of TSA’s $50-Million Uniform Deal

By Elizabeth Harrington | March 6, 2013 | 9:15 AM EST

(AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he is “not aware” that the Transportation Security Administration secured a $50-million contract for new uniforms just days before the sequester took effect.

During the daily White House press briefing on Tuesday, Fox News correspondent Ed Henry asked about the timing of TSA’s new uniforms purchase as the automatic across-the-board cuts were about to be implemented.

Henry asked: “One other quick thing, the [Homeland Security] Secretary [Janet Napolitano] said that TSA is impacted because their budget will be cut -- that’s why we’re getting longer lines at airports.  It came out today that TSA on February 27 of this year had a new contract for new uniforms to the tune of $50 million.  Do you think it’s a good idea for the TSA, two days before the March 1 deadline, that you and every cabinet secretary has been up here warning about, ‘you got to really be careful with the pennies right now.’”

“Why would they have a $50 million contract?” Henry asked.

If the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

Carney referred the question to the TSA.

“Ed, I appreciate the question,” he said.  “Obviously TSA would be well suited to answer it as would DHS.”

“I’m not aware of it,” Carney said.

As CNSNews.com reported, the TSA announced last week that it had awarded a contract to VF Imagewear, Inc. for up to $50 million to produce the agency’s uniforms, which amounts to about $1,000 per employee.

DHS Secretary Napolitano has said airports already are experiencing delays due to the automatic, across-the-board reductions in spending, which took effect on March 1.

But later news reports refuted her comments about long lines at airports.