Senate confirms Trump’s nominee to head Homeland Security

BY ANNETA GRIFFEE / DECEMBER 5, 2017 /

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Tuesday, in a 62-39 vote, the Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee for the next Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen.

Republicans were joined by 10 Democrat senators and 1 Independent to approve Nielsen’s nomination.

Nielsen had previously served on the White House Homeland Security Council under former President George W. Bush, and also worked at DHS’s Transportation Security Administration.

From Jan. 20, 2017 to July 31, 2017, she was the Chief of Staff under John F. Kelly when he was the DHS Secretary, then moved with him to serve as his deputy when he became White House Chief of Staff.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor Tuesday:

“By confirming Ms. Nielsen’s nomination to lead the DHS, this Senate will take a serious step to strengthen our nation’s security. Ms. Nielsen will be charged with leading the department at a critical time.”

“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,” McConnell said. “Her leadership will also help in providing continued assistance to the men and women still suffering from the effects of the recent natural disasters in our country. Our nation faces myriad threats, and I look forward to working with Ms. Nielsen to address each of them.”

Acting Secretary Elaine Duke posted the following statement upon hearing of Nielsen’s confirmation:

“Congratulations to Kirstjen Nielsen on becoming the sixth Secretary of Homeland Security. Ms. Nielsen is a homeland security expert with a deep understanding of the issues facing the Department and is well-positioned to lead us into the future. It has been an honor to serve as the Department’s Acting Secretary, and I look forward to working alongside Ms. Nielsen as her deputy as we continue to carry out the DHS mission of safeguarding the American people, our homeland, and our values.”