Kirstjen Nielsen Confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security
Kirstjen Nielsen Confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security
Senate confirms Kirstjen Nielsen to head Department of Homeland Security, installing a close ally of John F. Kelly
07 December, 2017, 02:08
The Senate voted 62 to 37 to confirm Kirstjen Nielsen as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Nielsen's nomination was also held up for a week in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee after members sent her more than 200 requests for follow-up information.
Nielsen was chosen by the White House as the preferred nominee in early 2017 but waffled on the decision, which stalled the nomination of DHS leadership for months.
President Trump congratulates Kirstjen Nielsen, the newly confirmed Homeland Security secretary, during a White House ceremony in October to announce her nomination. Some in Congress still have their doubt about the politics behind the move and whether she has what it takes to lead DHS.
Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said Nielsen brings valuable, practical experience to DHS. "She still must show us she has the ability lead a workforce of 240,000 while keeping the country safe and secure".
Nielsen's "work in and around the department since its creation, as well as her knowledge of cybersecurity, risk management and critical infrastructure, should serve her well in confronting the daunting threats to our homeland", said Sen.
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"Ms. Nielsen will be charged with leading the department at a critical time", he said.
An attorney and cybersecurity expert, Nielsen will be the first DHS secretary with previous experience working at the agency.
Some Democrats, on the other hand, complained Nielsen lacks the experience needed to run a major agency, and cited concerns over Trump administration policy.
The Post summarized Nielsen's career by noting that she worked at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and then as a White House adviser for emergency preparedness and disaster management under President George W. Bush.
When asked for her views on the utility of a border wall with Mexico, she echoed comments made previously by Kelly that the United States did not need a 2,000-mile physical barrier "from sea to shining sea".
"As our country continues to face ever-evolving threats at home and overseas, it is critical - now more than ever - that we have an experienced and apolitical leader at the Department of Homeland Security to work with us in our efforts to keep New Hampshire and the United States safe, secure, and free", said Sen.
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