Republicans back Obama appointee

Posted by Lesley Clark on November 13, 2013 

President Barack Obama's choice for Homeland Security Secretary is getting some bipartisan backing -- from the three officials who have led the agency since its creation.

Former Republican Homeland Security Secretaries Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge, along with Obama's first Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, have written to the Senate, urging that Jeh Johnson be confirmed.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee is scheduled to take up Johnson's confirmation at 10 a.m. today. He'll be introduced by New Jersey senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker.

In the letter, the three said they strongly support Johnson, saying his "experience and ability makes him an eminently qualified nominee."

"His service at the highest levels of the U.S. Department of Defense, the largest government agency in the world, provided him a keen understanding of and the logistics required to successfully execute large-scale, operational missions of varying complexities and purpose," the trio said of the former Defense Department attorney. They noted his "skill at coordination" would be of prime importance at DHS, where he'll be in charge of overseeing its seven major components, incuding FEMA and three immigration and border enforcement components.

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