Nielsen to testify before House Homeland Security panel next month

Nielsen to testify before House Homeland Security panel next month
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Homeland Security 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 will testify before a congressional committee early next month.

Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersConservatives lash out at CNN for hiring Andrew McCabe Hillicon Valley: House panel subpoenas 8chan owner | FCC takes step forward on T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Warren wants probe into FTC over Equifax settlement | Groups make new push to end surveillance program House Homeland Security Committee subpoenas 8chan owner MORE (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement that Nielsen will appear before the committee on March 6.

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The announcement comes after the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonDHS cyber agency to prioritize election security, Chinese threats Trump officials unveil rule allowing indefinite migrant family detentions House committee heads demand Coast Guard Academy explain handling of harassment allegations MORE (D-Miss.), was highly critical of Nielsen for not agreeing to testify before the committee earlier and floated the idea of issuing a subpoena for her appearance. 

“The administration’s plans about the future of border security are vitally important and the American public deserves to hear about these plans from Secretary Nielsen herself,” Rogers said in a statement Monday.

“Chairman Thompson’s decision to cooperate with Secretary Nielsen to find a time for her to testify was the right one and is consistent with the committee’s constitutional mandate to conduct oversight over [the Department of Homeland Security],” he continued.

Thompson later confirmed the secretary's appearance in a statement to The Hill, saying that the committee is "giving the secretary ample time to prepare for this appearance."

"She should be ready to defend the Administration’s border security actions and its plans to improve its border security agenda going forward," he said.

Thompson told reporters last week that he was open to issuing a subpoena for Nielsen if she didn’t reach a deal to appear before his committee by the end of February.

He had initially requested that the secretary testify on Feb. 6, as lawmakers negotiate a funding package that includes border security measures.

Thompson has pointed to Nielsen's testimony as playing an important role in those negotiations, saying that Congress needs to hear from the Homeland Security chief about the situation at the border.

Trump had initially refused to sign any funding deal that didn't include $5.7 billion for his long-promised wall on the southern border. But he signed a bill last month to temporarily reopen the government, giving lawmakers a three weeklong window to negotiate on border security.

Updated at 12:33 p.m.