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Statement from Chairman Thompson

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28, 2009 (WASHINGTON) - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding the December 25 incident on a Detroit bound plane and the subsequent security review:

"I stand with the President and his decision to review certain security measures following the December 25 attack. That review, coupled with the ongoing efforts of DHS and its federal partners, will result in a more secure homeland. As the President stated, we will use the vast resources of our federal government to disrupt, dismantle and defeat those who wish to do us harm.

But in order to make this happen, there are a number of considerations that must be addressed. First, the TSA needs a permanent administrator. Erroll Southers, an experienced, highly-qualified nominee, continues to be held up in the Senate by someone who obviously puts process ahead of progress. If TSA is to become the kind of nimble, responsive organization the American people deserve in times like this, it will need a Senate-confirmed administrator. If nothing else, the events of last week highlighted this lack of leadership.

Second, the events leading up to the December 25 attack underscore the key role that our Customs and Border Protection personnel play in helping to secure our homeland. That agency also deserves the benefit of having a full-time, Senate-confirmed leader. I urge a speedy confirmation.

We must use technology that does what it promises and processes that make common sense. I urge the administration to work diplomatically with our foreign partners to ensure that the most effective technology is installed at airports worldwide. While I am convinced that we can accomplish the difficult task ahead, it will take the best effort of everyone involved.

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Please contact Dena Graziano or Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson

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