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

07 December 2017

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

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. "I am confident that Kirstjen's mission-focused style of leadership will help her succeed in leading the men and women of DHS and ensuring we reform and improve the Department", said McCaul.

"Kirstjen Nielsen's experience in both the public and private sectors makes her the right person to lead this department", homeland security Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) said. "I am glad she can take charge of her agency and continue her work to keep Americans safe".

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. Prior to that, Nielsen served as Kelly's chief of staff at DHS when Kelly was secretary of that department. Ten Democrats joined in the vote to confirm Nielsen on December 5, with no Republicans voting against. "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".

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

Early in her career she worked at the Transportation Security Administration and then as a White House adviser for emergency preparedness and disaster management under President George W. Bush.

Nielsen's nomination was also held up for a week in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee after members sent her more than 200 requests for follow-up information. But Nielsen told the Senate's homeland security panel that "there is no need for a wall from sea to shining sea".

Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) criticized Nielsen for playing a role in the development of Trump's travel ban and a failure to acknowledge how humans contribute to climate change, according to the AP.

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