Department of Homeland Security

Jeh Johnson DHS Confirmation Hearings Underway

Promises to "vigorously pursue" department's missions


Citing an "alarming" leadership vacuum within the sprawling Department of Homeland Security, former Pentagon chief counsel Jeh Johnson pledged Wednesday to "vigorously pursue" the agency's disparate missions if confirmed as secretary of the department created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"As this committee knows," Johnson told a Senate panel weighing his nomination, "there are leadership vacancies within DHS of alarming proportions. As I speak, the department of government charged with the vital mission of homeland security has no secretary, no deputy secretary and a number of other senior positions are vacant. If confirmed as secretary, my immediate priority, starting the day I take the oath, will be to work with the White House and the Senate to fill the remainder of these key leadership positions. "