Obama Set to Tap New Homeland Security Chief

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 17 2013 6:47 PM

Obama Set to Tap New Homeland Security Chief

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The day the federal government got back to work, President Obama turned his focus from the looming default crisis to selecting a new head of the Department of Homeland Security. On Thursday, the Daily Beast was first to report that Obama will nominate former Pentagon lawyer, Jeh Johnson, as the new head of the department, succeeding Janet Napolitano who resigned in July.

Here are a few of the strengths and weaknesses Johnson brings to the job, according to the Daily Beast:

Johnson, a well-known and trusted figure in the Obama White House, was a central player in many of the administration's most sensitive national security and counterterrorism policies, including the ramping up of the drone program, the revival of military commissions to try suspected terrorists, and the repeal of the Defense Department's ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces. 
Johnson's experience dealing with counterterrorism and cyber-security threats will comfort many on Capitol Hill. He is less versed in the areas of disaster relief and immigration enforcement, also key elements of the DHS mission.
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Obama is set to make the nomination official on Friday afternoon. Johnson will then need to be confirmed by the Senate.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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