WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) issued the following statement after the United States Senate confirmed its first two nominees for President Trump’s cabinet: retired General James Mattis to be the Secretary of the Department of Defense, and retired General John Kelly to be the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
“For far too long, America has led from behind; however, today, we see our nation heading in a new direction.
“Secretary of Defense is a position with immense responsibility, and I am pleased that today, we have confirmed the right leader for the position, General Mattis. In both my meeting with him and at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Mattis made clear he understands the bigger picture and the ever-evolving threats our nation is facing. He will lead with strength and fortitude. Specifically, I was glad to hear General Mattis agreed to work with me to combat military sexual assault, and counter the rise of ISIS in areas like Southeast Asia.
“Additionally, after having the opportunity to meet with General Kelly and discuss my priorities, I know he will serve our nation thoughtfully and with unwavering dedication. From pursuing Sarah’s Law to strengthening our security at home, he has vowed to protect the sanctity of our nation and its citizens. Importantly, General Kelly committed that he and his department will lead where the prior administration has failed.
“I am grateful we were able move on these critical positions within the new administration on day one, and I look forward to working with and General Mattis and General Kelly in their new roles.”