Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made the following statement after President Obama's nominee to lead the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Erroll Southers, withdrew his name from consideration:
"Americans deserve a leader at TSA with integrity and with an unwavering commitment to putting security ahead of politics. The White House never responded to requests for more information relating to Mr. Southers false testimony to Congress and his censure by the FBI for improperly accessing files. And Mr. Southers was never forthcoming about his intentions to give union bosses veto power over security decisions at our airports. TSA screeners can already join unions, but collective bargaining would force TSA officials to ask union bosses for permission to make critical security changes. 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. 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."
On January 6th, U.S. Senators DeMint, John McCain (R-Arizona), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska) wrote to the White House requesting documents and information surrounding the administrations vetting process of Mr. Southers and his censure by the FBI (PDF here). The White House never responded to the letter.