Senate panel approves Obama's pick for DHS No. 2

Wednesday - 12/11/2013, 3:28pm EST

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Senate committee has approved President Barack Obama's pick to be the No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department.

Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted Wednesday to send Alejandro Mayorkas' (May-OR-kiss) nomination to the full Senate.

Republicans voted present. They objected because Mayorkas is the subject of an ongoing Homeland Security inspector general's investigation of allegations he improperly influenced decisions in a foreign investor visa program.

Mayorkas is the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that processes such visa applications. He has denied wrongdoing.

Committee Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del., says the inspector general's office recently told him that investigators have not found evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

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