Trump DHS chief argues for swift confirmation of Biden pick amid Hawley hold

Trump DHS chief argues for swift confirmation of Biden pick amid Hawley hold
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE’s former acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan urged the Senate to move swiftly to confirm President Biden’s nominee to lead the agency as the process has been stalled by a hold from Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyDeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Chamber of Commerce clarifies stance on lawmakers who voted against election certification Crenshaw pours cold water on 2024 White House bid: 'Something will emerge' MORE (R-Mo.).

In a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, McAleenan pressed the committee to quickly forward Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasPsaki: 'We don't take advice' from Trump on immigration MSNBC's Jacob Soboroff doesn't let falling equipment stop his report Republicans call for hearing on Biden's handling of border surge MORE, the former deputy Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary tapped by Biden to lead the agency.

“There has been a longstanding, bipartisan commitment to ensure that a duly-elected president receives swift confirmation of the national security positions in his cabinet,” McAleenan wrote in a letter obtained by CNN and other outlets.


“There should be no exception to this commitment today, when multifaceted challenges and threats face our nation, and effective responses from our federal government are essential," he added.

McAleenan joins a chorus of four other former DHS chiefs who served under both parties and have argued the Senate should rapidly confirm Biden’s national security picks.

Hawley, however, has placed a hold on Mayorkas nomination, arguing that he “has not adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border.”

Defeating the hold will require a 50-vote threshold cloture vote, and while Democrats likely have the numbers to vote it down, the process eats up days of floor time.

The Senate has since confirmed two other national security nominees, approving Avril HainesAvril HainesThe intelligence community must evolve with the information age Duckworth calls for Russian bounties intelligence to be declassified Intelligence official says Khashoggi report 'obviously' will challenge Saudi relationship MORE as Director of National Intelligence and retired Gen. Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate US proposes new summit with Taliban on interim Afghan government Overnight Defense: White House open to reforming war powers | Army base might house migrant children | Fauci scolds military on vaccine MORE as Secretary of Defense.