Senate Committee Approves Homeland Security Nominee

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Jordain Carney, National Journal
Nov. 21, 2013, 4:02 a.m.

The Sen­ate Home­land Se­cur­ity and Gov­ern­ment­al Af­fairs Com­mit­tee on Wed­nes­day ap­proved Jeh John­son’s nom­in­a­tion to be the next Home­land Se­cur­ity sec­ret­ary.

Though the nom­in­a­tion was passed by a voice vote, Sen­at­or Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) asked that votes against John­son by Sen­at­ors Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and John Mc­Cain be ad­ded to the re­cord.

Mc­Cain battled with John­son dur­ing his con­firm­a­tion hear­ing earli­er this month over a re­quest for in­form­a­tion on bor­der se­cur­ity. The Ari­zona Re­pub­lic­an told the As­so­ci­ated Press that the nom­in­ee “re­fused to tell me that he would give me the in­form­a­tion as to what is ne­ces­sary to have 90 per­cent ef­fect­ive con­trol of our bor­der.”

Sen. Carl Lev­in (D-Mich.) said the in­form­a­tion Mc­Cain asked for should be provided, call­ing it “an ap­pro­pri­ate re­quest.”

Com­mit­tee Chair­man Tom Carp­er (D-Del.), Lev­in, and Coburn lav­ished praise on John­son dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing. Though Coburn called Home­land Se­cur­ity one of the most dys­func­tion­al de­part­ments in gov­ern­ment and said he has areas of dis­agree­ment with John­son, he noted that he “found him an open and hon­est broker that really wants to solve prob­lems.”

John­son is ex­pec­ted to be con­firmed by the Sen­ate.

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