Republican Delays of Key Nominations Put Americans at Risk

President Biden took office as the country faces a multitude of crises left behind by Trump, and he quickly got to work building an experienced team ready on day one to get the country back on track. But Republicans in the Senate are delaying the confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas for DHS secretary and Xavier Becerra for HHS secretary, putting Americans at risk as the country faces national security challenges and continues to battle the deadly coronavirus pandemic. 

A bipartisan group of former Homeland Security secretaries have made it clear that delaying Mayorkas’ confirmation threatens our national security. 

Fox News: “Former Obama and Bush-era homeland security secretaries on Tuesday urged the Senate to ‘swiftly’ confirm Alejandro Mayorkas to lead DHS, saying ‘any further delays’ will ‘hinder’ the country’s ability to respond to national security risks. Former DHS secretaries for former President George W. Bush, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, and former DHS secretaries for former President Barack Obama, Janet Napolitano and Jeh Johnson, penned a letter Tuesday to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urging them to ‘promptly consider and confirm’ Biden’s nominee.”

Michael Chertoff, Jeh Johnson, Janet Napolitano and Tom Ridge in the Washington Post: “The safety and security of our nation are dependent upon a fully functioning government that puts the American people first. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to move quickly. We urge the Senate to act swiftly to put Mayorkas in place. It has been almost two years since DHS had a Senate-confirmed leader. We cannot afford to wait one more day.”

Bloomberg Government: “Senate Republicans’ actions to thwart the confirmation of Homeland Security Department nominee Alejandro Mayorkas over immigration policy differences are ‘irresponsible and unconscionable’ as the country faces threats from domestic extremists, former DHS secretary Michael Chertoff told reporters.”

Former Health and Human Services secretaries have said that the Senate Republican effort to hold up Becerra’s confirmation hurts the fight against coronavirus. 

Former HHS Secretaries Kathleen Sebelius and Donna Shalala in USA Today: “Without the secretary, we will face a backlog that will slow our national response to this crisis, upend progress already being made, and prevent action when it is needed most. The Senate should move on this nomination as soon as possible and put in place this qualified nominee who can help keep us safe and healthy, end this crisis, and get us back to our lives.”