The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee late Tuesday afternoon voted 11 to 4 to advance the nomination of Kirstjen Nielsen to be Secretary of Homeland Security.
Four Democrats voted against the nomination: Sens. Tom Carper (Del.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Margaret Hassan (N.H.) and Gary Peters (Mich.).
The confirmation vote was originally planned for last Thursday but was postponed until Tuesday morning after Democrats wanted Nielsen to answer 197 questions posed by the committee before considering the nomination. Tuesday morning’s vote was postponed so that committee members had enough time to consider Nielsen’s answers.
Carper said last Thursday that he was concerned that Neilsen didn’t have any experience leading large organizations. She has been endorsed by former Department of Homeland Security Secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, who both served under President George W. Bush.
Nielsen has served as deputy chief of staff at DHS to John Kelly, President Donald Trump’s first DHS chief, who is now the White House chief of staff. She joined Kelly at the White House a few months ago as a deputy there.
The Senate must still vote on Nielsen’s nomination.