Senate Confirms Jeh Johnson to Head Homeland Security

He is the latest in a cluster of nominees to be confirmed since Democrats lowered the number of votes need to confirm the president's nominees. 

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Jeh Johnson

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Democrats used the newly adjusted anti-filibustering rules to win Senate confirmation of Jeh Johnson, the president's top pick for secretary of Homeland Security.

The Senate voted 78-16 to confirm Johnson, a former top lawyer for the Pentagon who served as general counsel to the Defense Department during most of President Obama's first term, ABC News reports.

Johnson will replace Janet Napolitano, who stepped down this summer.

"I am pleased the Senate has confirmed Jeh Johnson as our next Secretary of Homeland Security with broad bipartisan support," the president said in a statement released to the press shortly after Johnson's confirmation was final.  

"As secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh will play a leading role in our efforts to protect the homeland against terrorist attacks, adapt to changing threats, stay prepared for natural disasters, strengthen our border security and make our immigration system fairer—while upholding the values, civil liberties and laws that make America great. I look forward to Jeh’s counsel and sound judgment for years to come."

Johnson is the latest Senate confirmation in recent weeks, since Democrats lowered the number needed in order to solidify confirmation. Before Democrats flexed their executive muscle, a confirmation needed 60 votes, an impossible number to reach without Republican support.

Read more at ABC News.

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