Senate Confirms Kirstjen Nielsen As New Homeland Security Secretary

Senate Advances Kirstjen Nielsen's Nomination for DHS Secretary Post

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement upon Senate confirmation of Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security Secretary.

President Trump congratulates Kirstjen Nielsen, the newly confirmed Homeland Security secretary, during a White House ceremony in October to announce her nomination.

Nielsen was confirmed 62 to 37, the narrowest-ever margin to approve a DHS Secretary. She followed Kelly to the White House when the former Marine general replaced the beleaguered Reince Priebus as Trump's chief of staff.

"Sec. Nielsen is a highly qualified leader who understands the importance of blending enhanced security policies with the message that America is open for business".

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.

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"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", she said in a statement. They also cited concerns about possible White House interference in a recent DHS decision to send home thousands of Nicaraguans and Haitians long granted US protection.

During the hearing, observed a report in the New York Times, Nielsen responded to Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) who accused Nielsen of refusing to say that humans are the primary cause of the rise in global temperatures.

The Washington Post reported Trump nominated Nielsen largely based on Kelly's advice and she has never led a federal agency or private company. Bush. endorsed Nielsen's nomination. The Senate had confirmed Duke for that position on April 4 by a vote of 85-14.

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. DHS has 22 subagencies, including everything from immigration enforcement, transportation security, disaster preparedness and response to the Secret Service and the Coast Guard.

On other topics, Nielsen said she agreed with Kelly that a U.S. -Mexico border wall is unlikely to be a physical barrier from "sea to shining sea".

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