Washington, DC – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, of which Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is the Chairman, today gave unanimous approval, with one member voting “present,” of the nomination of Judge Michael Chertoff to become the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Committee has jurisdiction over DHS and was required to approve the President’s nominee in order to send the nomination to the full Senate for confirmation. The Committee held a hearing on Judge Chertoff’s nomination last Wednesday, February 2nd. The Senate is expected to vote on the nomination before the end of the week.
Following tonight’s vote, Senator Collins released the following statement:
“Judge Chertoff brings impressive strengths and experience to the Office of the Secretary of DHS. After meeting with Judge Chertoff and hearing his responses to some tough questions in the Committee’s confirmation hearing, I am confident that he is the right person for the job. And as the unanimous vote to approve Judge Chertoff demonstrates, he commands bipartisan support in the Senate.
“Since 9/11, Judge Chertoff has established himself as a leading expert on the legal and national security issues surrounding the war on terror. I believe Judge Chertoff will bring the right combination of intelligence, experience, determination, toughness, and management skill to the job of DHS Secretary. I believe he will be dedicated to the protection of the American people and the civil liberties that we all cherish.
“DHS faces many important challenges and I believe Judge Chertoff is an ideal choice to lead the Department through this stage of its development. I hope the Senate can vote on Judge Chertoff’s nomination without delay, so that he can begin this important task.”
The Committee tonight also gave unanimous approval of the nomination of Allen Weinstein to be the Archivist of the National Archives and Records Administration. His nomination must also be approved by the Senate.