Arts&Culture

Senate votes to confirm Kirstjen Nielsen as the new DHS secretary

Senate votes to confirm Kirstjen Nielsen as the new DHS secretary

President Donald Trump nominated Kirstjen Nielsen to lead the Department of Homeland Security on October 12.

A confirmation vote on her nomination is expected later this week, the report added. Dem commissioner joins energy regulator Senate panel advances controversial environmental nominee GOP bets that tax bill will unlock corporate cash overseas MORE (D-Del.) asked during her confirmation hearing. She followed Kelly to the White House when the former Marine general replaced the beleaguered Reince Priebus as Trump's chief of staff.

"While I am glad that the Department of Homeland Security will soon finally have a permanent leader for the first time since July, there is still much we do not know about Ms. Nielsen's plans for the Department", said Rep. Bennie Thompson, R-Miss., ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

But Democrats raised concerns during her confirmation hearing about her lack of leadership experience, noting that DHS is a sprawling agency with roughly 240,000 employees. She will take over from Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, who filled the top job in a temporary capacity for more than four months, longer than any DHS chief in the agency's 15-year history. She previously was the White House's deputy chief of staff where she was widely considered a close Kelly ally. "With her understanding of the challenges facing our nation and her experience in prevention and preparedness, I believe that she will excel as the next Secretary of Homeland Security".

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The decision came three weeks after the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved Nielsen's nomination and almost two months after President Donald Trump selected her for the DHS post. Ten Democrats joined in the vote to confirm Nielsen on December 5, with no Republicans voting against.

Homeland Security oversees the nation's borders, cybersecurity and response to natural disasters, among other areas.

She served in the Transportation Security Administration during the George W. Bush administration and has also worked as a private-sector cybersecurity consultant. But Nielsen told the Senate's homeland security panel that "there is no need for a wall from sea to shining sea".

Senators approved Nielsen's nomination, 62-37, on Tuesday.


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