Senate Confirms Alejandro Mayorkas as DHS Chief, Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary

HeadlineFeb 03, 2021

In other news from D.C., the Senate confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas as head of homeland security Tuesday, making him the first Latinx and first immigrant to lead the department. The Senate also confirmed Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary, making the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor and presidential candidate the first openly gay cabinet secretary in U.S. history. Meanwhile, the Senate Armed Services Committee held confirmation hearings for Kathleen Hicks Tuesday, Biden’s pick for deputy defense secretary. Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned Hicks on the $740 billion defense budget, which Warren called “unconscionable.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “We continue to overinvest in defense, while underinvesting in public health and so much more that would keep us safe and that would save lives. So, let me ask the question this way: Dr. Hicks, do you believe that we can find ways to lower the top line budget number and then spend that money more effectively without sacrificing our security?”

Kathleen Hicks responded that cutting the military budget would necessitate “making decisions that may incur risk themselves.”

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