WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., hailed Senate confirmation Friday of John Pistole to be Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary in charge of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

            Pistole, who is the current Deputy Director of the FBI, sailed through his confirmation process without controversy.

            “TSA is an agency that, given its strategic importance to our homeland security, has gone far too long without permanent leadership,” Lieberman said. “John Pistole is a well-qualified and urgently-needed nominee and has a wealth of experience relevant to lead TSA. He has spent more than 26 years with the FBI and has significant management experience, including as Assistant Director for Counterterrorism at the FBI and and Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence.  Mr. Pistole has been a model public servant, who continues to devote his career to keeping our country safe. TSA’s workforce is getting a superb leader in John Pistole.”

             Collins said: “Given the age of terrorism in which we now live, and knowing that terrorists will continue their efforts to exploit security gaps in aviation and transportation systems, it is critical for the United States to have a strong and well-qualified leader heading the TSA. As a career law enforcement official, Mr. Pistole is the right person for this demanding post.  TSA must adopt new approaches and innovations to continuously improve security for our traveling public and transportation industries. We know from hard experience that attacking America remains a goal of our terrorist enemies, and Mr. Pistole, along with the whole TSA, must work diligently to secure our homeland.”

            TSA, whose mission is to protect the safety of passengers and cargo travelling by road, rail or air, has almost 50,000 employees and a $7 billion annual budget.