January 26, 2021

Durbin Calls On Senate To Quickly Confirm Ali Mayorkas, Biden Nominee To Lead Department Of Homeland Security

Durbin: The Security Of Our Nation Is At Stake; The Very Least We Can Do Is Ensure That The Department Of Homeland Security Has Steady, Capable Leadership Today

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), incoming Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today called on the Senate to quickly confirm President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Ali Mayorkas.  Unfortunately, Republicans are holding up Mr. Mayorkas’ confirmation.  During his speech, Durbin noted that under President Trump, the agency experienced an unprecedented leadership vacuum.  DHS lurched from one Secretary or Acting Secretary to the next – six in total, only two of whom were Senate-confirmed.  Durbin also noted that it was just three weeks ago that the Capitol building was attacked by domestic terrorists and that the security of our nation continues to be at stake.  The very least the Senate can do, Durbin argued, is to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security has steady, capable leadership today.    

“He [Mr. Mayorkas] is an outstanding nominee to be the Secretary of Homeland Security.  His experience, qualifications, expertise, and integrity will serve America well at a time when we desperately need him,” Durbin said.  “I ask the Senator who is holding his nomination to release the hold today.  Let Mr. Mayorkas go to the head of this agency where he is desperately needed and show the kind of leadership he has over and over again for this country.  I urge my colleagues to expeditiously confirm Mr. Mayorkas so he can serve as the next Secretary of Homeland Security.” 

The Senate has confirmed Mr. Mayorkas three times.  He previously served for seven years at the agency he has been nominated to lead.  Most recently, he served as DHS Deputy Secretary, the agency’s second-in-command and chief operating officer, handling counterterrorism, cybersecurity, border security, emergency management, and other critical matters.  

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.