CNN - A congressional hearing on aviation security will be missing its chief witness, who declined to testify.
Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole had been asked to appear before the Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on aviation on the impact of his agency's policies on passengers and the airline industry.
But Pistole said he had no plans to attend, arguing the panel has no jurisdiction over TSA matters.
The TSA has been regularly criticized over the years by Republicans in the House, especially, for not becoming leaner and more efficient.
It is not common but not unheard of for an agency director to decline to testify at a congressional hearing outside of a scheduling conflict or another agreed-upon reason.
The full Transportation Committee is chaired by Florida Republican John Mica, who has been a tough critic of TSA -- whether led by Republican or Democratic administrations -- for its size, for long security lines at airports, and for screening policies he says have fallen short.
The committee insisted it has legislative jurisdiction when it comes to the airline industry and its passengers, who help finance TSA operations through security fees.
John Pistole's other anti-democratic ideas includes his statement that Americans do not have a right to fly. As we asked at the time:
Now strip search machines are showing up in
federal courthouses. Would you say that going to a federal courthouse is also
not a right of Americans