Senate Committee Approves Homeland Security Nominee

Jeh Johnson, President Barack Obama's choice to become Homeland Security Secretary. Jeh Johnson, President Barack Obama's choice to become Homeland Security Secretary. Carolyn Kaster/AP

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved Jeh Johnson's nomination to be the next Homeland Security secretary.

Though the nomination was passed by a voice vote, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., asked that Sens. Rand Paul and John McCain's votes against Johnson be added to the record.

McCain battled with Johnson during his confirmation hearing earlier this month over a request for information on border security. The Arizona Republican told the Associated Press that the nominee "refused to tell me that he would give me the information as to what is necessary to have 90 percent effective control of our border."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the information McCain asked for should be provided, calling it "an appropriate request."

Committee Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del., Levin, and Coburn lavished praise on Johnson during Wednesday's meeting. Though Coburn called Homeland Security one of the most dysfunctional departments in government and said he has areas of disagreement with Johnson, he noted that he "found him an open and honest broker that really wants to solve problems."

Johnson is expected to be confirmed by the Senate.

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