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Chad Wolf, Trump pick for DHS secretary, gets first approval from Senate Homeland Security Committee

Chad Wolf, Trump pick for DHS secretary, gets first approval from Senate Homeland Security Committee

The Senate Homeland Security Committee gave an initial approval Wednesday to Chad Wolf to be the new Homeland Security secretary, with Republicans overcoming immigrant-rights groups’ objections.

Mr. Wolf has been serving as acting secretary for nearly a year, and the 6-3 vote clears the path for the Senate to confirm him to the job in full.

“I think acting secretary Wolf has done a pretty good job base don all the things that he has to deal with as secretary,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican and chair of the committee.

No Democrats spoke against Mr.Wolf during Wednesday’s meeting, but they have been quite vocal about disapproving of his nomination.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee urged the Senate to reject the elevation for Mr. Wolf. The House committee has no formal role in approving the confirmation.

The Homeland Security Department, created in 2003, spans everything from immigration enforcement to emergency management to cybersecurity to the Coast Guard to the Secret Service presidential protection unit.

The department has been roiled by turnover under President Trump, with Mr. Wolf the fifth person to helm it since the president took office.

Republicans are speeding Mr. Wolf’s confirmation in part to try to settle some thorny legal issues surrounding the leadership of the department.

The Government Accountability Office has ruled that Mr. Wolf is not legally serving as acting secretary, nor is Ken Cuccinelli, the No. 2 official, legally serving in that role.

Courts are now grappling with whether decisions both men made are legal.

Mr. Wolf’s confirmation could clear up some of those questions.

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Published at Wed, 30 Sep 2020 14:37:00 +0000