The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Chad Wolf as the new Undersecretary for Strategy, Policy and Plans at the Department of Homeland Security and, in turn, he became the acting secretary of the department.
The Senate voted 54-41 in favor of the nomination with two Democrats, Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) joining Republicans to approve Wolf, who had been the acting policy chief since February.
With the approval, Wolf is President Trump’s choice to be the acting Secretary of DHS following the departure at the start of this week of former acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan. A DHS Spokesman confirmed for Defense Daily that “Chad Wolf is the Acting Secretary” in an email response to a query.
Prior to the policy role, Wolf was chief of staff to then Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. He also was chief of staff at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) earlier in the Trump administration. He also served at TSA early in the Bush administration as an assistant administrator for Security Policy and followed that up with work as a lobbyist with the former Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, where he worked with security technology vendors doing business with DHS.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) during debate on Tuesday to proceed to a vote on Wolf’s nomination said he opposed the nomination on “constitutional grounds” because the administration’s plan is to move Wolf into the acting DHS secretary role.
“Yet the Senate is being asked to confirm someone to a job he is not even going to perform,” Schumer said. “Indeed, if Mr. Wolf is confirmed, we may never vote on will be the actual Secretary of DHS, which is a major Cabinet-level department. This is completely unacceptable.” He added later that the administration’s plans for Wolf “subverts our constitutional duty to advise and consent.”
Other Democrats voted against the nomination because of Wolf’s role as in the administration’s family separation policy for migrants entering the U.S. at the southern border while he was Nielsen’s chief of staff.