The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of John Pistole to head the Transportation Security Administration. Republicans and Democrats have praised the choice of Pistole, deputy director of the FBI and a career civil servant, to lead an agency with a complicated mission and workforce morale issues. He is Obama's third pick to head TSA; the agency has been without a permanent leader for more than a year.
During his confirmation hearing earlier this month, Pistole would not say whether he supported giving collective bargaining rights to security screeners -- a controversial topic within the agency. He said he would prioritize TSA's security work if confirmed, while acknowledging that doing so must be balanced with protecting the privacy rights and civil liberties of U.S. citizens.