04/05/2012 06:40 pm ET

Harry Reid: TSA Workers Need To 'Smile And Say Hello'

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is planning to send a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asking her to direct airport security staffers to be nicer to international travelers.

"She can instruct everybody that works at TSA to smile and say hello," Reid said Wednesday during a Las Vegas press conference, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "People who work for our government have to be able to do it with a smile on their face."

Reid's comments came after a private meeting with Nevada gaming, business and tourism leaders who, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, said international travelers often complain about the way they're treated by Transportation Security Administration workers at the airport. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar led the meeting, which was called to discuss ways to boost tourism in the state. Nevada currently has the highest unemployment rate in the country, at 12.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

TSA spokesman Greg Soule defended the professionalism of the agency's workers.

"TSA strives to treat all passengers with respect, while providing the best security in the most efficient way possible," Soule said in a statement to The Huffington Post.