- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
Senate Democrats will plow ahead Wednesday with a vote on President Obama’s nominee for the No. 2 job at the Department of Homeland Security, even though he is the subject of an ongoing inspector general’s investigation — an unprecedented move that has riled Republicans.
Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, says holding the vote is a disservice to Alejandro Mayorkas, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and undermines the work of inspectors general.
It will “deny Mr. Mayorkas the opportunity to win a convincing, bipartisan vote on the basis of a ‘clean’ report of investigation,” Mr. Coburn wrote Monday in a letter to the committee’s chairman, Sen. Thomas R. Carper, Delaware Democrat.
“Scheduling this vote before the investigation is complete tells every inspector general their work is irrelevant,” his spokesman, John Hart, added, calling it “the worst possible signal this committee can send.”
Mr. Mayorkas and other senior officials at USCIS are being investigated over accusations they intervened on behalf of at least one U.S. company — which had ties to Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat — seeking special entrepreneur visas for wealthy and politically connected Chinese investors.
According to an account from the inspector general’s staff, which leaked shortly before Mr. Mayorkas‘ hearing in July, the investigation was sparked by a whistleblower complaint in September 2012.
Mr. Carper dismissed the concerns, saying investigators said at a bipartisan committee staff briefing that they had “not found any evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Director Mayorkas — or any other DHS employee — in the 15 months that the inquiry has been going on.”
He noted the investigation can no longer impede the needs of the department. The deputy secretary’s job is one of more than a dozen vacant top posts at the department, including the secretary’s position and that of the inspector general.
“We simply cannot afford to continue to leave [the Department of Homeland Security] rudderless any longer. Our nation’s security depends on having effective, proven leaders in place,” he said.
Last month, the administration nominated a replacement for the inspector general. And the committee, with two Republicans voting against, sent the nomination of Jeh Johnson to be homeland security secretary to the Senate floor.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- Game players don't think peace has a chance in Syria
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: Bush to blame for Ukraine
- 1M kids stop school lunch due to Michelle Obamas food standards
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again