Kirstjen Nielsen Confirmed as Homeland Security Secretary

Danny Woods
December 7, 2017

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior of member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to the confirmation of Kirstjen Nielsen to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

With more than a third of the Senate voting against her, Nielsen's margin of approval was the narrowest ever for the confirmation of a DHS secretary. As a former DHS chief of staff, Nielsen understands the department's daily operations and is ready to lead on her first day, McConnell said.

"Ms. Nielsen is eminently qualified to run this important agency".

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.

Homeland Security has been leading the charge on implementing Trump's aggressive immigration agenda, and Nielsen pledged to continue that work. "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".

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. Ten Democrats joined in the vote to confirm Nielsen on December 5, with no Republicans voting against.

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

She served in the Transportation Security Administration during the George W. Bush administration and has also worked as a private-sector cybersecurity consultant.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on September 5 that the DACA program will end in six months, giving Congress time to find a legislative solution for people enrolled in the program.

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.

And in a statement released after the Senate confirmed Nielsen, Sen.

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