ND senators vote to confirm Homeland Security Secretary

WASHINGTON – North Dakota’s U.S. senators voted with a bipartisan majority to confirm Kirstjen Nielsen as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Tuesday.

“During Kirstjen Nielsen’s nomination process, she committed to me that she would prioritize security improvements along our Northern Border – including quickly implementing the new Northern Border Strategy that came as a result of my bipartisan bill being signed into law,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND. “Nielsen also brings important expertise on cybersecurity to her new position. Our nation needs to take additional steps to make our systems and networks more secure and resilient, and I hope Nielsen can be a key part of that effort.”

In meeting with Nielsen and during her confirmation hearing, Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND, highlighted the advantages of North Dakota’s unmanned aerial systems industry in developing solutions to improve the nation’s security.

“UAS holds the promise of not only providing great commercial benefits, but also in helping to better secure our nation,” Hoeven said. “Secretary Nielsen and I have extensively discussed North Dakota’s leading role in developing and testing these UAS applications and how we can leverage this technology to strengthen DHS’ operations. I look forward to working with her to do just that.”

The senators, both members of the Senate’s Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee, extended an invitation to Nielsen to visit North Dakota, which she accepted.