Bush appoints transportation security chief

President Bush appointed John Magaw as the Transportation Department's first undersecretary for transportation security late Monday. Bush installed Magaw through a recess appointment, which allows Magaw to stay on the job until the end of the congressional session. Magaw had his Senate confirmation hearing on Dec. 20 but was not confirmed before the Senate adjourned. The recess appointment allows Magaw to begin work now without Senate confirmation, which could not have come until Jan. 23 at the earliest. The delay in Magaw's confirmation has held up some management decisions at the new Transportation Security Administration, according to Jim Mitchell, a Transportation spokesman. "There was a lot of stuff that just couldn't move as quickly because he wasn't in position as a decision-maker," said Mitchell. "We could have used him earlier." With his White House appointment, Magaw steps down from his position as acting executive director of the Office of National Preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A longtime federal law enforcement officer, he previously served as director of the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. In 1995, Magaw received the Presidential Rank Distinguished Executive award. Magaw has a five-year term at the Transportation Security Administration. He is eligible for a performance bonus equal to 30 percent of his pay each year.
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