Senate confirms Johnson as new DHS secretary

Monday - 12/16/2013, 6:48pm EST

By Ellen Kortesoja
Federal News Radio

The Senate confirmed Jeh Johnson as the new Secretary of Homeland Security by a vote of 78 to 16.

"He brings experience from the public and private sectors, as well as an impeccable character," said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, in his Senate floor speech. "He served as the top lawyer for both the Air Force and the entire Department of Defense. There, he was a major player in the management team that ran the Defense Department, where he provided key advice to two exceptional Defense Secretaries — Bob Gates and Leon Panetta."

Carper's committee held a nomination hearing in November. Johnson received bipartisan acceptance from government officials, former DHS and DoD secretaries, and a former presidential advisor.

Johnson previously served as the Assistant United States Attorney from the Southern District of New York, General Counsel of the Air Force, and General Counsel of the Defense Department. He is the fourth DHS secretary since the DHS' inception in 2003.

Johnson succeeds Janet Napolitano, who stepped down in September to take a senior post at the University of California.

RELATED STORIES:

Napolitano to step down as DHS secretary