The PJ Tatler

Obama: Napolitano 'Tackled Some of the Toughest Challenges Facing Our Country'

President Obama issued a statement thanking Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for “her outstanding work on behalf of the American people over the last four years.”

Napolitano announced in a statement today that she’ll “be nominated as the next President of the University of California to play a role in educating our nation’s next generation of leaders.”

“I thank President Obama for the chance to serve our nation during this important chapter in our history, and I know the Department of Homeland Security will continue to perform its important duties with the honor and focus that the American public expects,” she said.

Obama said Napolitano had tackled “some of the toughest challenges facing our country.”

“She’s worked around the clock to respond to natural disasters, from the Joplin tornado to Hurricane Sandy, helping Americans recover and rebuild. Since day one, Janet has led my administration’s effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values,” he continued. ”

And the American people are safer and more secure thanks to Janet’s leadership in protecting our homeland against terrorist attacks. I’ve come to rely on Janet’s judgment and advice, but I’ve also come to value her friendship. And as she begins a new chapter in a remarkable career of public service, I wish her the best of luck.”

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said Napolitano’s departure marks “a substantial addition to the growing list of unfilled key leadership positions within the Department, and the Administration should move swiftly to fill the gaping holes in its management.”

“As our nation confronts difficult and complex issues such as immigration, border security, and international and homegrown terrorism, it is more important than ever to have a strong head of DHS who is dedicated to improving homeland security. The many agencies housed within DHS are only as effective as their leadership, and it is crucial that the Administration appoints someone who does not underestimate the threats against us, and who is committed to enforcing the law and creating a unified Department,” McCaul said.

“Ten years after the creation of the Department, it is critical that its mission isn’t undermined by politics or political correctness. The border is not secure, and the threat of terrorism is not diminishing. The vision and actions of the Department must reflect that reality.”

The chairman noted that he’s disagreed with Napolitano “on issues like the security of the border,” but “I respect and thank her for her service.”

“I look forward to working with her successor to keep Americans safe, and continue to conduct oversight in order to improve the Department of Homeland Security.”