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Senate Confirms Nielsen to Head Homeland Security

07 December 2017

The Senate voted 62 to 37 to confirm Kirstjen Nielsen as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

The Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday, almost two months after John Kelly left the agency to be the president's chief of staff.

Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) were among those who voted alongside their Republican colleagues to confirm the former principal deputy to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly as the new DHS secretary. Ten Democrats joined in the vote to confirm Nielsen on December 5, with no Republicans voting against. The security of voting machines, the electric grid and the nation's critical infrastructure took a relative backseat to climate change, border security and immigration enforcement.

USA Today reported last month that during her confirmation hearing, Nielsen seemed to depart from Trump's signature campaign proposal to build a wall along the U.S. "She still must show us she has the ability lead a workforce of 240,000 while keeping the country safe and secure".

"Ms. Nielsen will be charged with leading the department at a critical time", he said. Although some Democrats have criticized Nielsen's lack of executive experience, 11 senators on the minority side supported her.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTop GOP senators say they have the votes to pass tax bill Angus King on GOP tax push: "To call this a circus would be an insult to circuses" McConnell works to salvage tax bill MORE (R-Ky.) urged senators to back her nomination ahead of Tuesday's vote.

She was also part of the White House Homeland Security Council under President George W. Bush's administration. But Nielsen told the Senate's homeland security panel that "there is no need for a wall from sea to shining sea".

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.