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Senate confirms new US Homeland Security chief

Senate confirms new US Homeland Security chief

President Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Homeland Security - was confirmed by the Senate in a 62-37 vote Tuesday, further consolidating chief of staff John Kelly's power within the administration.

Nielsen was Kelly's chief of staff when he headed the department and followed him to the White House, where she served as his principal deputy chief of staff.

That concerned some Democrats, who tried to block her confirmation.

"She has equivocated on protecting Dreamers and overlooked reports of DHS' management failures", Harris said.

"There will be no on-the-job training for Kirstjen", Trump said when he announced her nomination, praising her "sterling reputation".

"By confirming Ms. Nielsen's nomination to lead the DHS, this Senate will take a serious step to strengthen our nation's security", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement. The promotion of his protégé, Nielsen, to the top post of the DHS has been viewed internally as the retired general continuing to exert his influence on his former department.

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"I look forward to working closely with Kirstjen and the Department to combat the most critical homeland security challenges facing the United States, including securing our borders, defending against cyber threats, enforcing immigration laws, counterterrorism and more".

Nielsen breezed through her confirmation hearing last month before members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, assuring lawmakers that she would not obey an unlawful order from the White House. -Mexican border, saying that she does not support building a wall along the entire length of the border.

"There is no need for a wall from sea to shining sea", Nielsen said.

Nielsen will oversee a federal agency that runs with approximately 240,000 employees, $40 billion in discretionary budget and 22 sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, immigration enforcement, disaster preparedness and response, transportation security and the Secret Service.

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.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said Nielsen has played a role in several questionable Trump administration decisions, including a travel ban to restrict entry from six mostly Muslim countries, termination of a program for young immigrants and what Harris called a "feeble response to Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey".