Senate confirms Trump's Homeland Security nominee

Camille Rivera
December 7, 2017

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Deputy White House chief of staff Kirstjen Nielsen as President Donald Trump's choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security.

A confirmation vote on her nomination is expected later this week, the report added. The Senate confirmed her nomination 62-37, with 10 Democrats joining the Republican majority. She followed Kelly to the White House when the former Marine general replaced the beleaguered Reince Priebus as Trump's chief of staff. Though no GOP senators sided against her, the outcome reflected both intense opposition to Trump as well as doubts about Nielsen's executive leadership experience and willingness to challenge the White House in the event of a disagreement.

"Why should we believe that, as smart as you are, and as well-spoken as you are, that someone who, as far as I know, never led an organization of even 100 people, much less 240,000, is ready to take on this responsibility?" Sen.

Nielsen previously served as chief of staff to former DHS Secretary John Kelly and senior legislative policy director for the department's Transportation and Security Administration.

"I can't unequivocally state it's caused by humans", she said.

The Washington Post reported that Duke does not have a close relationship to Nielsen, and cited several administration officials who said that Duke has informed the White House she plans to resign once Nielsen takes over.

Nielsen comes to the job largely on the power of his endorsement.

As DHS secretary, Nielsen will head an agency charged with protecting America's borders, squashing cybersecurity threats and leading the response to natural disasters.

Nielsen said at her confirmation hearing last month that climate change is a crucial issue and said the Trump administration is revising its climate models to better respond to rising sea levels.

Kirstjen Nielsen is now an aide to White House chief of staff John Kelly, who served as Trump's first homeland secretary. But Nielsen told the Senate's homeland security panel that "there is no need for a wall from sea to shining sea".

President Trump nominated Nielsen to head DHS on October 11, with the nomination being officially announced the following day.

We have not seen any report about Nielsen's views on the Trump administration's position on whether "Dreamers", as those who qualified for USA residency under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are often called, should be allowed to stay in the United States.

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