Senate confirms Trump's deputy Defense secretary
The Senate on Tuesday night approved President TrumpDonald John TrumpProfessor installs seesaws across US-Mexico border to form connection ‘on both sides’ What the world can expect from the Boris Johnson government Marianne Williamson: I am not a ‘wacky new-age nutcase’ MORE‘s pick for the No. 2 Pentagon post.
Senators confirmed David Norquist to be the deputy Defense secretary by voice vote, completing a key item on the chamber’s pre-recess to-do list.
Norquist had been acting deputy Defense secretary since January, but stepped aside for the confirmation process. He has been the Pentagon’s comptroller since 2017.
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Norquist is the latest Pentagon official to be confirmed as senators try to wrap up their work before the August recess, with lawmakers away from Washington until early September.
The Senate confirmed Mark EsperMark EsperThe Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s new target: Elijah Cummings U.S. and U.K. divide increases on Iran Overnight Defense: General accused of sexual assault to get confirmation hearing | Senate to vote Monday on overriding Saudi arms deal veto | Next Joint Chiefs chair confirmed | Graham tries to ease Turkey tensions MORE to be Defense secretary and Gen. Mark Milley to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last week.
Senators predicted Norquist would be easily confirmed after a largely uneventful confirmation hearing earlier this month, putting his nomination on a glide path.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense: General accused of sexual assault to get confirmation hearing | Senate to vote Monday on overriding Saudi arms deal veto | Next Joint Chiefs chair confirmed | Graham tries to ease Turkey tensions Senate confirms Milley as Joint Chiefs chairman Senate panel to proceed with confirmation hearing for general accused of sexual assault MORE (R-Okla.) said he had “strong feelings” about Norquist.
“In fact, I remember telling the president a long time ago it doesn’t matter who ends up being secretary of Defense so long as you have Norquist in here helping,” Inhofe said.
“Secretary Norquist, we face many challenges that require strong leadership and the ability to make tough decisions. I am very confident you can make those tough decisions,” the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Trump vetoes Saudi arms sale resolutions | A look at Esper’s first day as Pentagon chief | Iran, ‘forever chemicals’ mark early priorities | Budget deal set for Thursday House vote Pentagon’s No. 2 policy official to retire Senate panel advances Pentagon chief, Joint Chiefs chairman nominees MORE (R.I.), added.