The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to turn over unclaimed money collected by the Transportation Security Administration at airport checkpoints to nonprofit groups like the USO to provide travel benefits for military members and their families.
The TSA Loose Change Act will now head to the Senate.
The idea for the act came about when Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, passed through a checkpoint and noticed the change left behind.
“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 said Tuesday.
TSA collected $531, 395 in 2012, according to the agency. Passengers at Miami International Airport left behind a whopping $39,613, while passengers at Chicago O’Hare left behind $22,115. And rounding out the top 4 were Los Angeles International with $21,916, which was only slightly more than the $21,201 left by passengers at New York’s Kennedy International Airport.
In the past, the unclaimed money has been used to fund TSA operations.