Senate unanimously approves Jen Easterly to lead DHS cyber agency

The Senate on Monday unanimously approved the nomination of Jen Easterly to serve as director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Easterly’s nomination was approved by the Senate weeks after Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) blocked a vote on Easterly until either President Biden or Vice President Harris visited the U.S.-Mexico border. Harris visited the southern border late last month, and Scott has since lifted his hold.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which considered and approved Easterly’s nomination, expressed frustration Monday that she was not confirmed earlier.

“Before the Senate adjourned for the July 4th holiday, I stood right here and urged my colleagues to confirm her for this vital position,” Peters said on the Senate floor on Monday. “I warned that without confirming Ms. Easterly, we risked leaving ourselves vulnerable to cyberattacks, and in the two weeks since I last called on my colleagues to approve this critical nomination, nation state actors and criminal organizations have continued their relentless targeting of the United States.”

Meanwhile, Chris Inglis, approved by the Senate last month to serve as the nation’s first White House national cyber director, was formally sworn into the position on Monday.