A New York congresswoman, Kathy Hochul, is campaigning for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to give left behind clothing at security checkpoints such as sweatshirts and belts to homeless veterans.
There is an estimated 75,000 homeless veterans according to the Department of Veteran Affairs and Hochul believes the clothing should go to them. She instated her Clothe a Homeless Hero Act last week.
She has sent a letter to colleagues asking for support for the legislation. Hochul said to NBC News that it "directs TSA to make every reasonable effort to transfer unclaimed clothing to local veterans' organizations or other local charitable organizations for distribution to homeless veterans and their dependents."
She also wrote, "people rush by airports each week, it is not odd for scarves, hats and other articles of wardrobe to be left during TSA confidence checkpoints ... This adds adult to thousands of pounds of deserted garments annually."
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that if the legislation is passed it would have no net budgetary impact and that the bill would not prevent airports or TSA from donating the left behind clothing to charities of their choice.
TSA said to NBC news that, it currently "works with each state on how best to use voluntarily abandoned property" at airports.
In 2010 travelers left $376,480.39 at airports and the House Homeland Security Committee gave bipartisan approval to distribute unclaimed money to the USO and unclaimed clothing to needy veterans, but Hochul has introduced a separate legislation for the distribution of clothes to veterans.