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TSA wasting money on unused equipment

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Updated: 5/10/2013 6:47 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Important equipment collecting dust. Security checkpoints clogged or downright empty.

It'll frustrate you -- next time you're stranded in one of those endless security lines at the gate.

An internal investigation finds the Transportation Security Administration has mothballed tens of millions of dollars of security screening equipment. It's all sitting idle in some Texas warehouses.

Some have sat so long that they're now obsolete.

"Some of it sitting there for over a year and very important for the security of the people of the United States," said Rep. John Mica, (R-Florida).

We checked the log of what's collecting dust: explosive detection equipment, liquid scanners, items used to screen passengers.

An agency spokesman says it needs a large reserve of equipment in case of a crisis or equipment shortages at the 450 airports the agency serves.

In fact, many government agencies are notorious for storing piles of equipment in the basement. Even those critical Congressmen do so here on Capitol Hill. So we dug deeper and found TSA is being forced to potentially squander resources above ground too.

We brought our cameras to some small airports nationwide, including Beckley, West Virginia where despite only a handful of passengers traveling each day, TSA must staff a security post.

Charles Grimm was one of the few passengers on board.

"This flight saves me two hours each way, plus I don't have to pay to park at the airport." Grimm said.

Congress, under a controversial program, requires airlines and TSA to service small cities. Which means above ground and below, a lot of equipment sits far from your next flight.

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