Statement on Nomination of TSA Administrator

“[T]he nomination of Admiral Neffenger to lead efforts protecting our nation’s key transportation sectors will receive prompt consideration by the Commerce Committee.”

April 28, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation issued the following statement on President Barack Obama’s nomination of U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter V. Neffenger to serve as an Assistant Secretary for Transportation Security at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):

“After months of bipartisan concern about the vacancy at TSA, the nomination of Admiral Neffenger to lead efforts securing our nation’s key transportation systems will receive prompt consideration by the Commerce Committee. Admiral Neffenger’s lengthy military service offers a strong indication of essential leadership skills and an understanding of the threats our nation faces. While filling the TSA vacancy is critical, the Obama administration also needs to focus on finding qualified nominees for safety focused transportation posts that remain vacant.”

The Commerce Committee has legislative and oversight jurisdiction over TSA. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs also has oversight of the agency, as a component of the Department of Homeland Security. In January, a bipartisan group of five Commerce Committee Senators wrote to President Obama requesting a TSA nominee. Former TSA Administrator John Pistole announced his departure on October 16, 2014, and served his last day on December 31, 2014.

Other critical transportation posts under the Commerce Committee’s jurisdiction that lack a confirmed nominee exist within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.