A Senate committee today quickly approved the nomination of former U.S. Department of Defense general counsel Jeh Johnson to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Less than a minute after the committee met, the members used a voice vote to approve the nomination of Johnson, now a litigation partner in the Washington office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
"He is a strong leader, I think well-prepared to face the challenges that will await him," committee Chairman Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said before the vote.
The top Republican on the committee also voiced strong support, as he did when Johnson breezed through his Nov. 13 confirmation hearing.
"I'm pleased with the outcome of the vote," Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the committee' ranking member, said. "We obviously don't share the same views on every area of the homeland security, but I found him an open and honest broker that really wants to solve problems."
Not all Republicans on the committee were sold—at this time—on the nomination. Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted against Johnson. McCain wants some information from the Defense Department and needs assurances he will get that, Carper said.
Johnson was a litigation partner for two decades at Paul Weiss, and was general counsel of the Air Force during the Clinton administration. He was a policy adviser and top fundraiser for Obama's 2008 campaign.