Senate Homeland Security Hearing on Johnson Confirmation

On 11/13/13 the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Honorable Jeh Johnson to the post of Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

10:00am Hearing Begins
Chairman Carper (D-DE) begins the hearing with his opening statements and thank Mr. Johnson for attending.
Sen. Coburn (R-OK): When you are confirmed, I am going to say when, not if, I think you will be filling one of the most important roles in government. Thank you for your service. DHS needs to balance law and responsibility. For example, before CBP puts drones in the air, they were supposed to do civil liberties protections and put a plan in place, that still has not been done. We need to prove to the American people that DHS can secure the border, which they haven't as to date. Over the last 10 years we have spent 90 billion dollars on border security, but an independent study found that apprehensions at the border are only at 45-70%, as opposed to the 75-80% DHS says they are targeting.

Sen. Carper: Mr. Johnson has been confirmed by the Senate twice before for previous positions.

Sen. McCain (R-AZ): Can you assure this committee that you will give this committee the exact metrics that are needed sector-by-sector so that we can achieve 90% operational control of the border. I want a yes or no answer. We can't get a secure border unless we get the right information. This committee has the right to that information. Let the record reflect Hon. Johnson will not give a yes answer so I cannot support your confirmation.
Hon. Johnson: I am inclined to say yes, but I need to talk with the people at DHS. I think you know that about me from my track record.
Sen. McCain: I have an obligation to my constituents, and without your commitment I can't serve my constituents. I'm not asking for cooperation, I'm asking for information.

Sen. Levin (D-MI): DHS reports that the terrorist threat on the Northern Border is higher than the Southern border because of the large expanse of area that is not patrolled by law enforcement. Will you keep the needs of all of our borders in mind after you are confirmed?
Hon. Johnson: Yes, absolutely.

Sen. Begich (D-AK): Asks a specific question about tourism company's request to move people from Canada into Alaska that was denied by CBP.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 13111345.