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Jan 4, 2010 10:58 AM by Associated Press

Sen. DeMint standing firm against TSA nominee

A Republican senator who is blocking confirmation of President Barack Obama's choice to head the Transportation Security Administration is accusing Democrats of trying to install Erroll Southers without debate.

Interviewed on NBC's "Today" show, Sen. Jim DeMint brushed off accusations by Democrats that he's unnecessarily delaying Southers' confirmation at a time of increasing terrorist threats and a leadership vacuum at the agency.

The South Carolina senator said Monday he's concerned that Southers would allow TSA employees to have collective bargaining, something he opposes. He said Southers "will not give me a straight answer." DeMint also said, "What I want is a few hours of debate on Mr. Southers to fix the nation back on security and get politics, especially union politics, out of our security apparatus."

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