"Long-stalled TSA nominee Erroll Southers withdraws due to Republicans’ political opposition."
Today, Erroll Southers, President Obama’s nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), announced that he was withdrawing from consideration because “his nomination had become a lightning rod for those with a political agenda.” Indeed, Southers’ most vocal opponent was Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who was blocking the highly qualified nominee “to prevent TSA workers from joining a labor union.” Following the failed Christmas Day bombing when it became increasingly clear how much the TSA needed a director, the right wing insisted on playing politics with Southers’ nomination. The White House said it “accepted Southers’ withdrawal with great sadness and continued to believe he would have made an excellent TSA administrator.” According to Foreign Policy, there are still 177 Obama nominees awaiting confirmation, and “dozens of those holds are directly affecting the agencies responsible for the United States’ security and foreign policy.”
DeMint issued a statement this morning, maintaining his attacks on Southers. “The Senate could have had an open and transparent debate this week to approve Mr. Southers, but apparently, answering simple, direct questions about security and integrity were too much for this nominee,” he said. “I hope the President will quickly put forward a new nominee that is fully vetted and that will put the safety of the American people first.”