Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig was joined by longtime Senate aide Jim Manley and former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Intergovernmental Affairs Juliette Kayyem
The three experts outlined how Senate Republicans’ delaying Biden’s Cabinet confirmations is a threat to national security
Washington, D.C. – Today, Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig was joined by Jim Manley and Juliette Kayyem in a press call to discuss the dangers posed to national security by Senate Republicans who continue to delay the confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas, President Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Juliette Kayyem, former Assistant Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs at DHS, laid out DHS’ role in the multiple crises the U.S. is currently facing, including the rise of domestic extremism and implementation of the administration’s COVID response. Jim Manley, longtime Senate aide to Leader Harry Reid, discussed how Senate Republicans abandoned longstanding norms of confirming key Cabinet posts on Inauguration Day.
“Enough is enough. We needed a confirmed DHS Secretary over two weeks ago. And frankly, it’s unacceptable that the same Republicans who are calling for unity after a deadly attack that they helped incite by refusing to accept President Biden’s victory are now further putting our national security at risk by throwing up roadblocks against our next DHS secretary.” said Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig.
“As usual, this is more than just partisan politics. This was a deadly insurrection in the Capitol that I worked in for 21 years. Senators like Hawley, Cornyn, and others have prevented the Biden administration from hitting the ground running, and it’s unacceptable. There is no reason why Republicans, in the interim, refused to hold hearings for the core four [national security positions], except pure politics,” said Jim Manley.
“The Department of Homeland Security is broken. It has not had a confirmed Secretary since April 2019, and the previous administration had its sole focus on a useless border wall. DHS has basically been a non-actor because of the failing policies of the previous administration. Between COVID-19 and threats of domestic terrorism, national security is the major challenge facing the Biden administration. Localities and states need support from DHS, its eyes and ears, its situational awareness, to support this rise of domestic extremism and the vaccine rollout. This matters, and it matters that [Mayorkas is confirmed] quickly,” said Juliette Kayyem.
Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadly insurrection just weeks ago at the U.S. Capitol, and the growing threat of cyber security attacks in the wake of the Russia hack, the United States is facing several national security crises. Without a DHS Secretary, the United States is vulnerable to future attacks, both foreign and domestic. According to a rare national terrorism warning by the Department of Homeland Security, the aftermath from the insurrection suggests the United States “will face heightened threats from violent extremists emboldened by the assault on the Capitol for weeks.” These delays have real-life consequences. Senate Republicans must put politics aside and ensure Mayorkas is quickly confirmed as Secretary of DHS.