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Senate to hold nomination hearing for Wolf next week

Senate to hold nomination hearing for Wolf next week
© Washington Post/Pool

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee announced Friday that it will hold a nomination hearing for acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfICE acting director resigns weeks after assuming post Ex-DHS chief says Trump bears some responsibility for Capitol riots: 'What he says matters' Security concerns mount ahead of Biden inauguration MORE next week.

The hearing will be Wednesday morning, and Wolf will be introduced by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz, Cornyn to attend Biden inauguration For platform regulation Congress should use a European cheat sheet Former GOP congressman says he's leaving party: 'This has become a cult' MORE (R-Texas).

The hearing comes less than a month after President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE said he intends to nominate Wolf to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on a permanent basis. He’s served in the role in an acting capacity since November, and the agency has gone more than a year without a Senate-confirmed leader.

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Wolf’s position was thrust into the spotlight last month after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that Wolf was improperly appointed as acting secretary and was therefore ineligible for the position, though Trump and other Republicans dismissed the findings.

Wolf has been a top target of Democrats for months over the administration’s hardline immigration policies and the agency’s controversial tactics toward demonstrators in Portland, Ore., including sending out unidentified officers to detain protesters. 

He most recently drew rebukes from Democrats after he did not attend a Thursday House hearing on threats to the U.S. homeland following a feud between DHS and the House Homeland Security Committee. 

"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," House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonActing DHS chief Chad Wolf stepping down Security boosted for lawmakers' travel around inauguration: report COVID-19 is wild card as Pelosi faces tricky Speaker vote Sunday MORE (D-Miss.) said in a statement after Wolf’s nomination was announced last month.

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