President Trump Nominates Acting DHS Secretary To Serve In The Permanent Role

( Chad Wolf will assume the permanent role of the Secretary of Homeland Security if the Senate successfully confirms him for the position.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he would nominate Wolf, who is currently serving as the acting secretary, to take over the role full time. Homeland Security has been without a permanent, confirmed leader in that position for more than a year.

Trump announced via tweet:

“I am pleased to inform the American Public that Acting Secretary Chad Wolf will be nominated to be the Secretary of Homeland Security. Chad has done an outstanding job and we greatly appreciate his service!”

The announcement doesn’t come without controversy, though. Two weeks ago, the Government Accountability Office said Wolf wasn’t properly appointing to his current position as acting secretary. The office said that, as a result, he isn’t eligible for the position.

Those claims were directly dismissed by the Department of Homeland Security as “baseless and baffling.” DHS even accused the GAO of being motivated by partisan politics.

In a statement, Wolf said he was happy to be chosen by the president. He said:

“I am honored to be nominated by President Trump to lead the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security in safeguarding the American people. As the Homeland faces evolving threats from natural disasters, violent opportunists, malign cyber actors, and transnational criminal organizations, the mission of DHS is as critical as ever.”

For much of the president’s term, DHS hasn’t had a leader who has been confirmed by the Senate. Instead, the agency has relied on acting officials to carry out Trump’s agenda.

Democrats have consistently scrutinized the department. The department has drawn recent ire from Democrats for sending federal agents to quell protests in Portland, Oregon, and how officers used force to do so.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, said he didn’t agree with Trump’s decision. On a press call, he said:

“I think given his past action, he’s an awful choice.”

Bernie Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, was more critical of the choice. He accused Trump of nominating Wolf to try to cover up any legal liabilities that may come from the GAO report.

In a statement, Thompson said:

“In the over nine months that Mr. Wolf has been illegitimately serving as Acting Secretary, instead of focusing on the top threats to the nation and the ongoing pandemic that has killed over 175,000, his number one focus has been to please the President and carry out his radical political agenda.

“I have seen no indication that he understands the Department’s non-partisan national security mission or is willing to carry it out. It’s quite clear he is simply not up to the job, and his nomination should not move forward.”

Trump has to formally send his nomination of Wolf for the Senate. The Senate would then have to schedule a confirmation hearing, which most likely wouldn’t happen until the fall.

The Senate is on its normal summer recess through Labor Day, and they’ll likely have to deal with coronavirus economic stimulus discussions as a pressing matter of business when they return.