Wolf, a native of Mississippi, became acting head of the Department of Homeland Security last November, after Kevin McAleenan resigned.
In August, President Trump decided Wolf should have the “acting” part of his title removed.
"Chad has done an outstanding job and we greatly appreciate his service!" Trump tweeted at the time.
But a permanent appointment requires Senate confirmation, so Wolf will appear before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee as the confirmation process gets underway.
Wolf’s actions in the job have included leading the federal government’s efforts to address nightly rioting in Portland, Ore., as well in other cities. Earlier this month, he said in his State of the Homeland address that DHS would never abdicate what he described as the department’s “moral and legal duty,” to protect the cities from destructive rioters.
"Let me be clear,” Wolf said Sept. 9. “Those who seek to undermine our democratic institutions, indiscriminately destroy our businesses and attack our law enforcement officers and fellow citizens are a threat to the homeland.”
“Those who seek to undermine our democratic institutions, indiscriminately destroy our businesses and attack our law enforcement officers and fellow citizens are a threat to the homeland.”
— Chad Wolf, acting secretary, homeland security
The acting secretary’s efforts in Portland have included sending federal agents to the city to protect federal government-owned buildings there. The move drew pushback from Oregon’s governor and Portland’s mayor, both of whom are Democrats.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Wolf could face questions about two recent whistleblower reports from DHS employees – and about challenges to his appointment to his current role, Roll Call reported.
One complaint submitted to the Homeland Security inspector general last week alleged “jarring medical neglect” and coronavirus mismanagement at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Georgia, including allegations that hysterectomies were performed on detainees there without proper consent.
A previous complaint, submitted Sept. 9, alleged that Wolf ordered an intelligence report on potential Russian interference in the 2020 election to be placed on “hold” to avoid embarrassing President Trump.
Wolf claimed the report was delayed so it could be rewritten for "better context."
The Senate homeland security panel that will question Wolf is led by its chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. Other Republicans on the panel include Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Rand Paul of Kentucky, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mitt Romney of Utah, Rick Scott of Florida, Michael Enzi of Wyoming and Josh Hawley of Missouri.
The panel’s top Democrat is Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan. Other Democrats on the panel include Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Margaret Hassan of New Hampshire, Thomas Carper of Delaware, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Jacky Rosen of Nevada.
When President Trump announced his intention to nominate Wolf for the permanent DHS position, Peters said he had “serious questions” about whether Wolf was suited for the job, Roll Call reported.
In addition, Hassan questioned Wolf’s decision to send federal agents to Portland and Rosen questioned Wolf’s role in developing the DHS family separation policy under previous Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the report said.
Harris, the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee, was campaigning in Michigan on Tuesday. It was unclear whether she planned to participate in Wednesday’s confirmation hearing for Wolf.
As acting head of DHS, Wolf oversees federal agencies that include Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); Customs and Border Protection (CBP); Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS); the Transportation Security Administration (TSA); the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); the Coast Guard and the Secret Service.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Evie Fordham contributed to this story.