Where's Alan?

Three former directors of the nation’s customs and border patrol agency say the Senate is taking far too long to confirm Alan Bersin as commissioner.

Obama nominated Bersin, a former U.S. Attorney and schools chief in San Diego, in September.

The nomination is stalled in the Senate Finance Committee, which hasn’t even scheduled a hearing. A staffer tells Government Executive that the committee is “reviewing Bersin’s paperwork.”

Raymond Kelly, Robert Bonner and W. Ralph Basham, who led the agency from 1998 to 2009, have written letters urging senators to get a move on.

Having experienced the nomination process ourselves, we would hope that the “forest” of filling this critical position expeditiously is not getting lost in the “trees” of pre-hearing questions designed to elicit policy positions or parochial commitments from the nominee before he even has the benefit of knowing the agency from the inside.

Parochial commitments? What’s up with that?

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