Wolf also told the committee he disagreed with recent decisions by the Government Accountability Office and a federal judge in Maryland, which found that Wolf was unlawfully appointed to his current role because his department did not follow the proper rules of succession.
While no Democrats offered remarks during Wednesday’s brief markup hearing, a few pushed Wolf during last week’s meeting.
Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., pressed him about his role in a memo that recommended separating families at the southern U.S. border. The memo, written for Nielsen, the former Homeland Security Secretary, became public after Wolf told the committee last year that he was not involved. Wolf maintained he was not one of the architects of the memo.
Wolf started his career at the DHS in 2002, after 9/11, serving as an assistant administrator of the Transport Security Administration. For many years in between, he also worked as a lobbyist on immigration legislation for companies that favored increases in visas for tech workers, or that wanted to sell their technologies to government agencies.
Wolf replaced Kevin McAleenan, who resigned as acting DHS secretary on Oct. 11, 2019. As the head of DHS, Wolf often vehemently defended his administration’s hard-line immigration policies at the border, and took an adversarial stance against state, local and federal elected officials who criticized his deployment of armed agents in response to protests against police brutality.