By Ted Hesson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration’s choice to run the Department of Homeland Security on an interim basis passed a hurdle in the Senate on Wednesday.
The Senate voted 54-41 largely along party lines to confirm Chad Wolf to become DHS undersecretary for strategy, policy and plans. The confirmation will allow the administration to make Wolf acting secretary.
A White House spokesman said https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-homeland-security-wolf/trump-says… earlier this month that Wolf would take the role following the departure of acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, whose resignation was announced in October.
Homeland Security has been without a permanent secretary since the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen in April.
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan has been considered as a possible candidate to be nominated to take the job permanently, according to two former Trump administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Trump administration also plans to move acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli into a deputy role at the department, according to an administration official, a current DHS official, two former CBP officials and a fifth person familiar with the decision. The news was first reported on Wednesday by CNN.
Wolf previously worked as chief of staff to Nielsen, who ran the department during the implementation of the “zero tolerance” policy that separated thousands of migrant parents and children from April to June 2018.
(This story corrects spelling of Kirstjen Nielsen in fourth paragraph.)
(Reporting by Ted Hesson; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)