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Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
Topic - Thomas R. Carper
The Senate approved Jeh Johnson as the fourth Homeland Security secretary, giving him the reins at a department that, more than a decade after its creation, is still unstable and trying to figure out its role in the massive federal bureaucracy.
The Democratic chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said Wednesday he now backs a bill to fix national security and fraud problems with a visa program that gives coveted U.S. green cards to wealthy foreigners investing in new American businesses.
Senate Democrats pushed through committee President Obama's pick to become the No. 2 official at Homeland Security on Wednesday, dismissing warnings about an ongoing probe of the nominee's role in a visa program that has raised security concerns about politically connected foreigners using it to buy citizenship.
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.
President Obama's pick to head the sprawling, troubled Department of Homeland Security may face tough questioning when he appears for his confirmation hearing Wednesday. But if his nomination is derailed or delayed, it is almost certain to be by an unrelated dispute between a GOP senator and the administration.
In testimony more befitting a legal thriller than a congressional hearing, Social Security employees told the Senate on Monday of an agency office in West Virginia rife with intimidation, retaliation and corruption — including a successful scheme that allowed a lawyer to bilk more than $4 million in taxpayers' money from the disability system.
Democrats plan an impassioned defense of embattled Deputy Homeland Security Secretary nominee Alejandro Mayorkas Thursday, stressing his qualifications while downplaying an ongoing inspector general investigation into allegations he helped the brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton get a visa for a dodgy Chinese investor.
Debuting last summer, a $77 million computer system to detect Medicare fraud before it occurs had prevented just one suspicious payment by Christmas. That saved taxpayers exactly $7,591.
Just days after top U.S. Postal Service officials said they were moving ahead to close mail sorting facilities nationwide, the agency halted the plans Tuesday amid pressure from members of Congress.
A powerful House Republican wants Amtrak's chairman and top lawyer fired.
At a Senate homeland security committee hearing this month, Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., said: "We know that American citizens as well as Canadian and European nationals have taken up arms in Syria, in Yemen and in Somalia. The threat that these individuals could return home to carry out attacks is real and troubling."
"Ten years after its creation, [the department] still lacks strong cohesion and a strong sense of team," Mr. Carper plans to tell Mr. Johnson.