Rockefeller Statement on Erroll Southers Withdrawal as TSA Nominee

January 20, 2010

JDR Head ShotWASHINGTON, D.C.— Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released the following statement today on the withdrawal of Erroll Southers as the nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):

"Erroll Southers’ decision to withdraw his name for head of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) is regrettable. Today our national security system lost a skilled law enforcement officer with needed expertise and leadership qualities because of political games – and that is a real shame. I urge my colleagues to more carefully focus on America’s security not partisanship.

"I am confident that President Obama will quickly nominate a new candidate to run TSA. I am committed to putting another qualified person in this critical job and will hold Commerce Committee nominations hearings as soon as possible. Our national security should always trump politics and anyone who doesn’t share that commitment isn’t serving the public effectively.”