By Jim Melwert

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Congress has once again declined to act on a measure aimed at shoring up cockpit security of passenger airliners. Hopes the so-called “secondary barriers” might be part of the short-term FAA extension were dashed when the language was stripped-out by the House, despite what supporters call “overwhelming bi-partisan support.”

The secondary barriers, wire-mesh gates, would be installed between the reinforced cockpit door and the cabin to protect the flight deck when a pilot needs to use the bathroom or get food during a flight. They would replace the current secondary security: a flight attendant and a drink cart.

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Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick authored a bill, Saracini Aviation Safety Act, in honor of Victor Saracini. He was the pilot of United Flight 175, flown into the south tower of the World Trade Center.

Victor’s widow, Ellen Saracini, wrote a letter to every U.S. Senator, urging a no-vote on the FAA extension until secondary barriers are included, but she says it’s been a fight with leadership since they started. She’s been working with Congressman Fitzpatrick, and points to an FAA study that shows a hijacker could get to the controls within two seconds when the door is opened, and she says the flight deck is even more vulnerable now with reinforced doors.

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“Once someone with ill intent gets behind there, we can’t get the door opened again.” Saracini said. “Congress admits there’s a vulnerability and then doesn’t want to do anything else about it.”

Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey both voted “no.”

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Casey calls the barriers “essential” and says he’s “disheartened” they weren’t included in the extension.