Senate confirms Trump's pick to lead Department of Homeland Security


Law360, Washington (December 5, 2017, 7:00 PM EST) - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm President Donald Trump's second Homeland Security secretary, despite opponents who cited her lack of management experience.

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. Prior to that, Nielsen served as Kelly's chief of staff at DHS when Kelly was secretary of that department.

Senators approved Nielsen's nomination, 62-37, on Tuesday.

Although several Democrats voted to confirm Nielsen, some expressed concern over the 45-year-old's experience level. 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. Some in Congress still have their doubt about the politics behind the move and whether she has what it takes to lead DHS.

"Throughout her confirmation process, Ms. Nielsen failed to demonstrate that she would provide the steady, experienced leadership - free from political interference from the White House - that the department needs". "She still must show us she has the ability lead a workforce of 240,000 while keeping the country safe and secure".

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An attorney and cybersecurity expert, Nielsen will be the first DHS secretary with previous experience working at the agency.

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.

Homeland Security oversees the nation's borders, cybersecurity and response to natural disasters, among other areas. The Department of Homeland Security was established in 2002 in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Her position will also drop her into the middle of multiple immigration fights, as senators debate how to address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. But Nielsen told the Senate's homeland security panel that "there is no need for a wall from sea to shining sea".