Senate confirms Trump Homeland Security cyber pick

Senate confirms Trump Homeland Security cyber pick
© Getty

The Senate confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber and infrastructure protection unit on Tuesday evening.

The Senate confirmed Christopher Krebs in a voice vote Tuesday to serve at the helm of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) roughly four months after Trump nominated him to the post. 

ADVERTISEMENT

In the role, Krebs will be responsible for overseeing the security of federal civilian networks and spearheading the federal government’s efforts to protect critical infrastructure from cyber and physical threats. NPPD is also newly responsible for helping states secure their digital voting systems following Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Krebs has been performing the role of undersecretary at NPPD in an acting capacity since last summer, and was officially nominated to the post by Trump in February.

“It’s an incredible honor to be confirmed as the Under Secretary; it represents the confidence that the Senate, the President, and the Secretary [Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenDOJ to Supreme Court: Trump decision to end DACA was lawful Top immigration aide experienced 'jolt of electricity to my soul' when Trump announced campaign Trump casts uncertainty over top intelligence role MORE] have in me to do this important job,” Krebs said in a statement. “I’m excited to drop the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary title and officially lead the NPPD team in advancing the cybersecurity and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure.”

He said that his top legislative priority will be pressing Congress to pass legislation that would rename and reorganize NPPD — a bill that has passed the House but recently encountered a hang-up in the Senate.

“I will continue to work with Congress to pass this important legislation,” Krebs said.

Krebs’s nomination was not particularly controversial, and he has earned praise from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for his past experience in homeland security in the Bush administration and his work on Microsoft’s government affairs team.

However, Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenPrediction: 2020 election is set to be hacked, if we don't act fast Wyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations Wyden calls for end to political ad targeting on Facebook, Google MORE (D-Ore.) briefly blocked Krebs’s nomination in an effort to press Homeland Security to release more information about threats from devices known colloquially as “Stingrays” — mobile phone surveillance technology that the department recently detected evidence of in the D.C. area. Homeland Security has since provided the Democratic senator with more information on the activity.