White House Casts Wide Net for Napolitano Successor

Sunday, 14 Jul 2013 09:26 AM

By Audrey Hudson

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The White House is casting a wide net for possible replacements for out-going Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, with several well-known names being considered.

The Hill reports those being vetted by the president's security advisors include New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, former Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, former FEMA Chief James Witt, former Sen. Joe Lieberman, Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, and William Bratton, former police chief in Los Angeles, New York and Boston.

The Wall Street Journal suggests other candidates that should be considered include former Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, a Republican, and retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

Capitol Hill lawmakers are also mentioning some lessor known names for consideration including TSA chief John Pistole, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, former Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Politico reports.

The fledgling agency is responsible for two-dozen agencies including the controversial Transportation Security Administration, FEMA and the Secret Service.

The Hill reported that a potential nominee's experience dealing with immigration issues is likely to be a key factor in the decision.

Allen's experience running the Coast Guard, which protects the nation's waterways from illegal immigration, and his response during the Katrina disaster may give him a leg up on the competition. However, immigration advocates favor Kelly who also led the federal customs service under former President Bill Clinton.

Napolitano announced Friday she was stepping down after serving for four years and will be taking over as president of the University of California.

"I would hope, at the very least, we get a secretary with a little more deference to Congress, which Secretary Napolitano definitely did not," said Rep. Steve Stockman, Texas Republican.

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