TSA nominee to face first Senate test

TSA nominee to face first Senate test
© Getty Images

President Obama’s choice to lead the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Coast Guard Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger, will face his first Senate test next week. 

Neffenger is scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation on May 21 in his first appearance before lawmakers since being tapped by Obama to run the nation’s aviation security agency. 

If he is confirmed, Neffenger will replace longtime TSA chief John Pistole, who left his post at the end of 2014. The TSA has been run by an acting administrator for the past four months.

ADVERTISEMENT

Prior to Neffenger’s appointment, Republicans criticized the president for not appointing a permanent TSA leader more quickly. 

Neffenger has served as vice commandant of the Coast Guard since 2014. A 34-year Coast Guard veteran, he also directed port security in Los Angeles and was deputy national incident commander during the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill. 

Obama said he was very qualified for the TSA post in a statement announcing his nomination two weeks ago. 

“The talent and expertise Vice Admiral Neffenger brings to his new role after more than three decades at the U.S. Coast Guard will be valuable to this administration’s efforts to strengthen transportation security,” Obama said then. 

Neffenger must be confirmed by the Senate. Commerce Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware Senators inch forward on federal privacy bill House passes anti-robocall bill MORE (R-S.D.) has said his nomination would “receive prompt consideration.”

Thune praised Neffenger’s “lengthy military service” when his nomination was first announced, saying it “offers a strong indication of essential leadership skills and an understanding of the threats our nation faces.”