Senate Confirms Kelly and Mattis to Cabinet - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Senate Confirms Kelly and Mattis to Cabinet

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The U.S. Senate has confirmed two new cabinet members, several hours after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. 

The Senate has voted to put retired Marine general, John Kelly in charge of overseeing Homeland Security.

Senators confirmed John Kelly's nomination to lead the Homeland Security Department, 88-11.

One of Kelly's likely first assignments will be executing President Trump's plans for the fate of a program that has protected more than 750,000 young immigrants from deportation.

If Trump keeps his campaign promises, Kelly's agency will be responsible for strengthening the screening of immigrants permitted to enter the U.S. His department also will be charged with finding additional resources to locate and deport people living here illegally.
    
Kelly says he's in favor of a wall at the Mexican border, but he says a physical barrier alone isn't enough to secure the 2,000-mile frontier.

The Republican-led Senate has also voted to confirm James Mattis to be President Donald Trump's defense secretary.

Senators cleared the retired Marine general's nomination Friday.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who challenged the idea of a former military leader in a civilian job, voted "no."  Republicans pushed for fast approval to ensure the post wouldn't be empty even for a brief amount of time after Trump's swearing-in.

Mattis will replace Ash Carter, who has been former President Barack Obama's defense secretary since February 2015.

Congress had to pave the way for Mattis to serve. Lawmakers last week passed legislation that Trump signed granting Mattis an exception from the law barring former service members who have been out of uniform for less than seven years from holding the job.

Mattis retired from the Marine Corps in 2013.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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