Carper Statement on Resignation of DHS Acting Secretary McAleenan

WASHINGTON, DC — Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement regarding the resignation of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan. 

“I have had the privilege of serving on the Committee that oversees the Department of Homeland Security since the Department’s inception. It is a massive Department made up of 22 distinct agencies with a critical mission. It is unfortunate news that this Department will, once again, be without a leader when Acting Secretary McAleenan steps down at the end of this month. I also fear that his departure from this post will allow more extreme hardliners to fill the void he leaves. While I certainly did not agree with every decision made during his tenure, I fear that, without Secretary McAleenan at the helm, we will now see just how many harmful policies he successfully averted.

“Acting Secretary McAleenan is a career official who worked his way up through the ranks at DHS and understood the agency, including the important work that thousands of men and women at DHS perform every day all around the globe. He served in leadership posts in the Obama Administration and was well-qualified for this position. Unfortunately, as we have seen time and time again over the past three years, the misguided policies and extreme agenda of President Trump and those around him render the expertise and experience of even the most qualified individuals useless. 

“I continue to be extremely disappointed with and troubled by the turmoil we are seeing at agencies across the federal government, especially at an agency as critical and expansive as DHS. At a time when DHS should be laser-focused on priorities such as safeguarding our upcoming elections, countering violent extremism at home and abroad and responding to ever more frequent and powerful natural disasters, it is once again leaderless. Constant turnover and lack of permanent leadership does not breed success in any organization, let alone one of our largest federal agencies. DHS has seen four secretaries in less than three years, only two of whom were actually confirmed by the U.S. Senate. This is no way to run an agency, especially one of this size and consequence. 

At a time when our country is facing ever-evolving cyber threats, domestic terrorism is on the rise and we could, once again, see the rise of ISIS, I would urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to speak up and push for a serious, reasonable and well-respected individual to be chosen quickly to lead the Department that is charged with combatting all those threats and much more.”