Officials applaud confirmation of Mayorkas as DHS secretary

Key cyber-focused members of Congress and other officials on Tuesday applauded the Senate confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), citing the need for his leadership in the wake of the hack of IT group SolarWinds.

The Senate confirmed Mayorkas by a 56-43 vote Tuesday after significant Republican pushback over immigration concerns, but he garnered significant bipartisan praise for his background in cybersecurity, including experience from serving as DHS deputy secretary during the Obama administration.

“Mr. Mayorkas is a seasoned DHS veteran with bipartisan support who has the experience and background we need right now,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement following the Senate vote. “His extensive work on immigration, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism issues make him uniquely qualified to ensure the country remains resilient and secure.”

Other officials to cite the need for leadership on cybersecurity at DHS included House Homeland Security ranking member John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.).