Former homeland security secretaries under the Obama and Bush administrations are urging the Senate to confirm President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pick.
“In the wake of the January 6th domestic terror attack on the Capitol—the symbol of our nation’s democracy—it is more urgent than ever to have in place an experienced, capable and Senate-confirmed leader,” Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, former DHS secretaries for Bush, and Janet Napolitano and Jeh Johnson, former DHS secretaries for Obama, wrote in a letter obtained by Fox News.
They added, “That person is Mayorkas.”
The former officials warned “any further delays” in confirming Mayorkas “only hinder our ability to respond to national security risks.”
They went on to express confidence in Mayorkas.
“We each know Mayorkas as a man of character, integrity, experience and compassion,” the former secretaries wrote.
They went on, “The president-elect could not have found a more qualified person to be the next homeland security secretary. Mayorkas needs no on-the-job training and will be prepared to lead DHS immediately.”
The officials claimed to have watched the Trump administration “with dismay and alarm” as the former president “abused and misused the Cabinet department we once led.”
They argued the DHS is not designed to “be beholden to a president’s political agenda.”
The four continued, “It exists for the protection of the American people on land, at sea, in the air and in cyberspace.”
They encouraged the Senate to move quickly and confirm Mayorkas.
“The safety and security of our nation are dependent upon a fully functioning government that puts the American people first. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to move quickly. We urge the Senate to act swiftly to put Mayorkas in place,” the former officials wrote.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee voted on Tuesday, 7-4, to move forward with his nomination.