Biden’s Department of Homeland Security secretary to be confirmed today


Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on January 19, in Washington, DC.
Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on January 19, in Washington, DC. Bill Clark/Pool/Getty Images

The final Senate confirmation vote for Department of Homeland Security Secretary nominee Alejandro Mayorkas is expected to happen today.

The vote, originally scheduled for Monday, was pushed due to the winter storm that hit the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, which is impacting flights of senators coming into town, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office.

Mayorkas’ nomination was moving through the Senate but was stalled last week by Republicans who argued that the nominee hasn’t been properly vetted on immigration issues. On Thursday, his nomination successfully cleared a procedural hurdle and a final vote on confirmation is on track for Tuesday.

That puts Mayorkas’ start behind his predecessors. Former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama had confirmed secretaries on their first days in office.

While DHS political appointees have begun to fill out their jobsaccording to department officials, leadership roles continue to be filled by officials in acting capacities — a trend that was ubiquitous during the Trump administration.

Another DHS official said the delayed confirmation was “more of the same,” as acting officials have led the department for much of the past four years.

Once confirmed, Mayorkas will be responsible for repairing a department that’s been rattled by leadership turnover and vacancies for the better part of the last four years. The department has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was ousted in spring 2019.

Here’s a look at the Cabinet members that have been confirmed so far.



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