“We are pleased that the President has found an outstanding nominee
to head the Homeland Security Department,” he said. “Michael
Chertoff has the talent and experience to take on this vital role in
protecting the security of our country and its citizens.”
Brooks noted, “Under President Bush’s leadership, we have become
a much stronger, more secure nation since 9/11. But the work of
reforming old government systems and developing new ways to meet the
challenges of the war on terrorism goes on. Michael Chertoff is an
excellent choice to move those efforts forward effectively.”
“We look forward to swift confirmation of his nomination.”
The nomination of Chertoff, who maintains his judicial offices in
Newark, N.J., also was lauded promptly by Sen. Frank
"Michael Chertoff has a history of anti-terrorism experience that
makes him an excellent fit for the Department of Homeland Security,"
Lautenberg said. "Michael Chertoff's nomination is good news for
America but particularly good news for our region. Michael Chertoff
knows that the most at-risk two miles for terrorism in the country are
between the Port of Newark and Newark-Liberty International Airport.
"On 9-11, New Jersey and New York suffered a terrible loss of
life, and Michael Chertoff understands where the threats lie. I am
confident that Secretary Chertoff will make sure that New Jersey
receives the resources necessary to keep our residents safe."
Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn) issued a guarded statement, emphasizing
that before the Senate confirms Chertoff hearings will be held by his
"I welcome the President’s nomination of Michael Chertoff to
fill the important post of Homeland Security Secretary," Lieberman
said. "Judge Chertoff is a respected lawyer and law enforcer, and I
look forward to reviewing his record in detail as the Homeland Security
and Governmental Affairs Committee carries out its obligations."
Lieberman's statement added:
Outgoing Secretary Tom Ridge oversaw the very
difficult consolidation of two dozen programs and agencies into a single
department. Judge Chertoff, if confirmed, will face significant
challenges to improve the Department’s operations and set clear
security policies to safeguard the American public from future terrorist
The Department is still struggling to integrate its
many component parts into a well-organized machine. It has not yet
articulated a clear homeland security strategy. And it is behind in its
work to catalog and assess threats to the nation’s core energy,
telecommunications, water, transportation, and financial networks. High
turnover and scarce resources are partially to blame. But, ultimately,
the Department will succeed only with muscular leadership from the top.
I look forward to the Committee's confirmation
hearings and to working with the confirmed nominee to keep America safe.
Harman (D-Calif), ranking member of the House Permanent Select
Committee on Intelligence and a member of the Committee on Homeland
Security issued a release, that said in part:
First responders in Los Angeles tell me that Judge
Chertoff will be a capable replacement for Tom Ridge. Homeland security
continues to be the most important challenge facing our country, and I
look forward to meeting the nominee in the coming days and learning more
The job of the new secretary will be difficult. His
department has not yet achieved critical benchmarks that were the
reasons for its creation: one integrated threat and vulnerability
assessment, with a database of critical infrastructure sites; a
threat-based funding formula; an effective national system for
interoperable communications; and a revamped threat warning system to
replace the broken color-coded approach.
My choice for this position had been a first responder
with experience on the front lines, but Judge Chertoff does appear to
have a strong law enforcement background.
No doubt, Judge Chertoff's confirmation hearing, to be
ably led by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT), will
also explore his commitment to protecting the civil liberties of law
abiding Americans and visitors.
I look forward to working with the new secretary to
create a safer yet free America.