Carper Statement on Homeland Security, Defense Appointments

Hours after President Trump is sworn into office, Senate approves two key national security posts

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after the Senate confirmed Gen. John Kelly to serve as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Gen. James Mattis to serve as Secretary of the Department of Defense.

“I was honored to introduce Gen. John Kelly at his nomination hearing earlier this month and tonight I was proud to cast a vote for him as our Secretary of Homeland Security. I trust he will continue the great progress made under former Secretary Jeh Johnson to keep our country safe and secure, whether at our borders, at our ports and airports, and in cyberspace.

“Secretary Kelly has years of experience working and building partnerships with our neighbors in Latin America as the former commander of U.S. Southern Command. He shares my firm belief that we must do more as a country to address the root causes of migration from Central America—especially in the Northern Triangle—where poverty, violence and desperation compel so many families to seek a better life in the United States. I look forward to continuing to work with him on this issue.

“Hours after President Trump was sworn into office, the Senate also came together expeditiously and with a strong bipartisan vote provided our new Commander in Chief with his Secretary of Defense. I thank Secretary Mattis for his willingness to serve in this enormously important role. I look forward to working with him to ensure our troops and their families have the resources they need, and that the Department redoubles its efforts to root out waste, fraud and abuse across the agency.

“While I felt confident in casting my vote to approve these two nominees, I have strong reservations about a number of President Trump’s other cabinet appointments. As members of the Senate we have an important and sacred responsibility to earnestly consider every President’s nominee carefully and evaluate the nominee’s ability to serve our country. I take that responsibility very seriously, and believe we have a tremendous amount of work before us to ensure that these men and women are well suited to serve in the offices to which they’ve been appointed.”