U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been without a permanent, confirmed commissioner for almost five years. It’s been almost two years since the recess appointment of Alan Bersin expired.
President Obama in August nominated drug control coordinator Gil Kerlikowski to head the agency. But don’t expect him to step into office any time soon.
The Senate still has not scheduled a confirmation hearing for him. You can bet his nomination will take a backseat to that of Jeh Johnson, the former Defense Department official Obama recently nominated to be secretary of homeland security.
CBP is a component of DHS, so Kerlikowski will have to get in line behind his potential future boss.
Congress took a two-week break in early November and soon will be embroiled once again in trying to develop a compromise on the budget before the short-term spending bill recently approved to reopen the government expires. When the Senate Finance Committee finds time to schedule a confirmation hearing is anybody’s guess.
Correction: A previous version of this story contained a misspelling of Jeh Johnson.