December 30, 2009

Sen. Jim DeMint went on Fox News' Your World yesterday to explain why he's been holding up the appointment of a new Transportation Safety Administration chief's appointment: Namely, he's more concerned about the potential unionization of the TSA than he is about the agency's ability to function properly.

Of course, he claims that keeping the unions out is essential to making them able to function well:

DeMint: It makes absolutely no sense to submit security in our airports and the passengers here in this country to collective bargaining with unions.

Of course, that would preclude such things as air-traffic controllers unions too -- but then, DeMint is probably fine with that. Because unions are a greater threat than terrorists.

McClatchy has the full story:

Who's running the TSA? No one, thanks to Sen. Jim DeMint

WASHINGTON -- An attempt to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day would be all-consuming for the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration — if there were one.

The post remains vacant because Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has held up President Barack Obama's nominee in opposition to the prospect of TSA workers joining a labor union.

... Two Senate committees have given Southers their bipartisan blessing. An acting administrator is in place pending his confirmation.

Marshall McClain, the president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association, said that the Senate should have acted sooner to confirm Southers.

"Friday's terrorist attack on U.S. aviation makes it all the more imperative that there be no further delays in filling this crucial position," he said.

DeMint said in a statement that the attempted attack "is a perfect example of why the Obama administration should not unionize the TSA." He wants Southers to clarify his stand on unionizing the TSA, a shift that Democrats support.

Without collective bargaining, DeMint said, the TSA has "flexibility to make real-time decisions that allowed it to quickly improve security measures in response to this attempted attack."

If organized labor got involved, DeMint said, union bosses would have the power "to veto or delay future security improvements at our airports."

ThinkProgress has more.

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