August 02, 2019
Throughout the month of July, the Senate Armed Services Committee, led by U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), took on an aggressive hearing schedule in order to clear as many nominations as possible while continuing its oversight work and efforts to complete annual defense authorization legislation on time.
Chairman Inhofe released the following statement on the Committee’s process throughout the summer:
“The Department of Defense is tasked with the most important federal responsibility: national security. As we work to meet the needs of a nation increasingly at risk, it’s critically important that we have Senate-confirmed leadership in place at the Pentagon. That’s why the Senate Armed Services Committee put in so much time and effort over the month of July to confirm well-qualified nominees,” Inhofe said. “Ranking Member Reed and I, along with our entire committee, adjusted our schedule and process to clear as many nominations as possible. But this doesn’t mean we cut any corners when it came to treating each and every nomination with the care, consideration and close scrutiny it deserves; in fact, in many cases, we did extra work and put in overtime to ensure we did our due diligence. I thank every member of the committee for their dedication, time and support throughout this process. Our work isn’t done yet—far from it—but we are in a much better position as we continue to fill these important civilian and military leadership posts.”
Since the beginning of the summer, the Senate has confirmed more than 4,500 military nominees, including General Mark Milley to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Admiral Michael Gilday as Chief of Naval Operations. In addition, the Senate confirmed the top two civilian positions at the Department of Defense: Dr. Mark Esper as Secretary of Defense and David Norquist as Deputy Secretary of Defense, as well as two other civilian positions.
While maintaining this schedule, the committee also continued important oversight duties, began pre-conference discussions with the House Armed Services Committee on the defense authorization legislation, and helped the Senate usher through a defense budget deal and other legislation critical to our national security.
In September, the Senate Armed Services Committee will turn its attention to additional Department of Defense civilian and military nominations as they are received from the White House.