The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Trump nominee and White House deputy chief of staff Kirstjen Nielsen to lead the Department of Homeland Security.
Kirstjen Nielsen is now an aide to White House chief of staff John Kelly, who served as Trump's first homeland secretary. She previously was the White House's deputy chief of staff where she was widely considered a close Kelly ally.
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.
Senators voted 62-37 on Kirstjen Nielsen's nomination to be DHS secretary, with 10 Democratic senators and Independent Sen.
President Trump congratulates Kirstjen Nielsen, the newly confirmed Homeland Security secretary, during a White House ceremony in October to announce her nomination. "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. Though no GOP senators sided against her, the outcome reflected both intense opposition to Trump as well as doubts about Nielsen's executive leadership experience and willingness to challenge the White House in the event of a disagreement.
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.
Homeland Security oversees the nation's borders, cybersecurity and response to natural disasters, among other areas. She will take over from Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, who filled the top job in a temporary capacity for more than four months, longer than any DHS chief in the agency's 15-year history.
"Ms. Nielsen has been engaged in counterterrorism, all-hazard risk mitigation, critical infrastructure protection, and response policy from the earliest days of what we now know as homeland security", the former officials wrote in a letter to the Senate Homeland Security Committee.