JANUARY 16, 2009
Only half of the members in the U.S. Senate committee that screens among the most important presidential cabinet nominees—Secretary of Homeland Security—bothered to show up for confirmation hearings this week and only two Republicans participated.
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee senators evidently had more important things to do than assure the right candidate will head the crucial agency that keeps the nation safe from foreign threats.
Only nine of the panel’s 17 members found the time to ask Barack Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary pick—Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano—questions, making the so-called confirmation hearing somewhat laughable.
This is embarrassing enough considering the huge impact that the head of Homeland Security has on every American. The massive agency has 200,000 employees and encompasses Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Transportation Security Administration
Napolitano’s history makes the committee members’ absence shameful. As a two-term governor she vetoed several key laws to curb her state’s illegal immigration crisis and she has proudly advocated expanding a fraud-infested visa program for foreign workers.
Among Napolitano’s vetoes were laws to cut illegal alien benefits like public assistance and discounted tuition at state colleges as well as a measure allowing cooperation between local police and federal immigration officials. She also nixed a crucial bill that would have officially rejected the easily forged Mexican Matricula Consular card as a valid form of identification.
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