January 8th, 2010
03:42 PM ET
4 years ago

Battle over TSA chief looms in Senate

Sen. Jim DemInt, R-South Carolina, is concerned about the TSA's involvement in collective bargaining.
Sen. Jim DemInt, R-South Carolina, is concerned about the TSA's involvement in collective bargaining.

Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid intends to force a vote on Erroll Southers' nomination as the next Transportation Security Administration director when the Senate returns in mid-January, despite the hold Republicans have placed on the nomination.

Top Republican senators including Sam Brownback, Tom Coburn, Chuck Grassley, Mike Johans and John McCain have expressed "serious reservations" about Southers' ability to lead the TSA and have sent a letter to the White House this week expressing their concerns.

At issue: Southers' testimony before Congress in which they say he gave incomplete information about accessing a federal database for personal reasons. The move led to his censure from the FBI.

"We believe that Mr. Southers submitted erroneous, and possibly misleading, information regarding ethical violations during his service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation," the letter said. "In light of this, there are a number of questions that must be answered so the Senate can effectively render its Constitutional responsibility to advise and consent."

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Filed under: Jim DeMint
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Gary

    Didn't DeMint blame Reid for not bringing Southers' nomination up for a vote to fill the TSA slot?

    January 8, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "We believe that Mr. Southers submitted erroneous, and possibly misleading, information regarding ethical violations during his service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation..."

    Doesn't matter what answer the guy gave. They were going to say that anyway.

    January 8, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. ran

    Fear/hate/obstructionism is all the Republicans know how to do. Also, if any thing bad were to happen in our security DeMint and the other GOPers would be the first to say President Obama and the Democrats are not protecting us.

    People do we really want these Republicans back in power. I say no and we all need to vote for either a true democrat or an Independent in 2010/2012 and tell the Republicans no more.

    January 8, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. Demented DeMint

    The senator cannot have it both ways. So, the nation has had another attempt by terrorists and yet this senator will not allow the White House its opportunity for selection because of unionizing? Is the senator pro-terrorist for being anti-union? Seems to me that the TSA needs a man at the helm especially when attempted terrorist actions have been looming and the senator still refrains! He looks pretty bad while attempting to guard the nation from another union or the matter of terrorism is seconadry to unionization for Demint!

    January 8, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. jeremy.....Dallas...Texas

    Seriously we Republicans owe this country big apology. We are out of touch with the needs of this country for so long. In actual fact we should be expeled from the state of the union because we don't love this country. Demint,Cheny,Palin,BUsh,Rush,Hannity,Beck,M Bauchman the list is endless.

    January 8, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. T'SAH from Virginia

    Just something to YAP about and say NO to!!! If you were SMART – RepubliCAN'TS, you will let Southers slip by so when he SCREWS UP, you can say – I TOLD YOU SO!!!

    But, there will be NO screw up and you will have nothing to gripe about and that makes you SICK!!!

    January 8, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. Jim

    The Republicans can make a mud fight out of anything. His incomplete information was that 20 years ago he looked in a database twice instead of once. And he is the one who corrected his original submission. Can't you guys fight over something real?

    January 8, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Rob

    ANYTHING Sam Brownback, Tom Coburn, Chuck Grassley, Mike Johans and John McCain propose I am against. They do not represent my socio-economic background. I perceive them a lobbyists in office.

    January 8, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. disgusted

    Already asked and answered. Get it done.

    January 8, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. guy

    i normally support obama on his policies and positions, but errol southers looks like a disaster. his qualifications are nothing compared to those that have gone before him. TSA's first administrator was a former head of the FBI. Then second head of the TSA was Admiral Loy, former head of the US Coast Guard he he was followed by a navy admiral who previously commanded the USS Nimitz battlegroup. he was in turn followed by a ivy league Silicon Valley CEO. Errol Southers was...just an FBI agent? why does anyone think he's qualified to lead an organization with ~ 56K officers?

    January 8, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    We just had a TSA terror problem and this nutjob wants to play politics. Vote this useless hick OUT!

    January 8, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Obama's brain should be body scaned

    Our leaders claim the solution to these problems are that our naked bodys should be scanned at all air ports.
    This is in violation of the U.S. Constitution and grounds for impeachment under unreasonable search.

    January 8, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. Dan, TX

    So all 40 Republican Senators have said they'd vote against him? If so, please state this, if not, then why delay this vote?

    Please get all 40 Republican Senators on record as opposing this nominee or let it go to a vote.

    January 8, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. The Al Queda Terrorist Really Love the Republican Attack Against Obama . . .

    The Republicans don't want a TSA head, they want a terrorist sucess, so they can keep attacking President Obama.

    When you hate Obama, you are the terrorists' best friend.

    January 8, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. Annie

    Why don't these losers that are griping about Obama not having filled this position just shut up and let the process go forward.......as usual they are the ones that put up all these road blocks then complain that Obama isn't doing his job........and of all people coming from McCain (who needs to be in an Old Folks Home) and Coburn from Oklahoma, the biggest obstuctionist in Washington........I hope theyget Southers pushed through without any republicans that way it will show American that they are still the party of NO NO NO NO NO

    January 8, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  16. Michael from Ventura

    Demint and others who hate Labor unions need to realize that without Labor, you'd have slave labor and unprecedented profits raised on the backs of the workers.......Oh yeah, that's what the Party of NO wants!! I keep forgetting it's all about the money.

    January 8, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. Peter s

    Even if Jesus descends from heaven, the current members of the Republican party will oppose whatever he says or do!!

    January 8, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  18. Tony T

    Hold tight GOP, stop all of the pushes toward unions, socialism and tax and spend. Tie up the Senate for the entire year if this corrupt and far left leaning lunatic decides to do the right things. In November Obama will be neutered and a lame duck president until he is voted out in 2012. What a huge mistake, but Americans were simply sold a bill of lies. It is a shame.

    January 8, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. unemployed by Obama

    why do we need another Obama lier type in a position of power. He lied under Federal Interviews, we dont need another terroist loving Obama Crook. Send this crook packing.

    January 8, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  20. Dodd Democrat...

    His actions should automatically eliminate him from the job......

    We don't someone who has eithics and security issues to be in charge of TSA....it would be asking for trouble.

    it's time to move on and pick someone else. There are so many more qualified hard working individuals who can do the job........so drop him and move forward.

    Stop letting your egos get in the way of doing what is in the best interest of Americans.

    January 8, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  21. Barbara Independent in NY

    This is not about Southers ability to do the job. This is about DeMint and the rest of the Republicans wanting the Obama Administration to fail.

    January 8, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    So he was censured by the FBI for ethics violations, and Obama wants him to join the cast of characters who don't pay taxes on our payroll. Is there no end to the outrageous behavior?

    January 8, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  23. Ex-NC-Pub

    Absolute idiocy!

    January 8, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  24. Future expat

    Sounds like we'll soon be seeing some more headlines with the words "Unanimous Republican Opposition". GOP is a disgrace.

    January 8, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. Jane/Seattle

    I find these terms "battle", "fight", "war on" totally noticable as America is addicted to wars of all kinds. How aboout "leaders" coming together to solve problems cooperatively for the good of all. Yes, I must be dreaming! These visions of harmony and peace are just too progressive for the Competitive WAR crowd! Peace

    January 8, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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