Eye Opener: A 10-year term for TSA administrator?
Happy Thursday! The Eye gets plenty of e-mail with good (and bad!) ideas about government operations. But here's one worthy of debate: The administrator of the Transportation Security Administration should serve a 10-year term that overlaps presidential administrations, a House Republican proposed on Wednesday.
As TSA awaits Senate confirmation of Erroll Southers to serve as the agency's next leader, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) thinks future TSA administrators should serve for a decade in an effort to divorce the agency from partisan politics.
Wolf's bill "takes the exact language that we have for the FBI," he said in an interview. FBI directors serve 10-year terms.
"If it’s worked well for the FBI, I think it’ll work well with TSA," Wolf said.
"Being a director of the FBI and being director of TSA is not political," he added. "You really don’t want a political person in the job. Do you want a doctor who’s political or a doctor who’s really good at taking out your kidney? You want a good doctor."
Wolf sits on the House Appropriations subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, and said his new bill grew out of his interactions with the FBI. Most of all, Wolf believes his bill would help stabilize the agency's rocky existence.
"Since 9/11, TSA has had six administrators. Six! I think five permanent, one acting," he said. "I think the average amount of time is 1.5 years. You can’t learn it in that period of time."
The bill would first have to clear the House Homeland Security Committee, and a staffer there said colleagues had not heard of Wolf's proposal but planned to review it. The Department of Homeland Security would not comment on the bill.
What do you think? Should the TSA administrator serve a 10-year term? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
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