Jeh Johnson Confirmed to Head Homeland Security, With Help From Weakened Filibuster

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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Obama's nomination of former Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson to be secretary of Homeland Security has been held up for two months, but thanks to Harry Reid partially nuking the filibuster last month, he's been confirmed by the Senate. Previously, 60 votes were required to move forward on a nominee, but on Monday the Senate broke a Republican filibuster on a 57-37 vote, then confirmed Johnson with a final vote of 78-16. Johnson, who helped the Obama administration craft its counterterrorism policies and was a key force behind the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," replaces Janet Napolitano, who departed in September to serve as president of the the University of California.