Confirmation hearing for Army Secretary pick Eric Fanning next week

Eric Fanning, Army Secretary, Openly Gay
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A Senate confirmation hearing for Eric Fanning, President Obama's pick for Army secretary, is now scheduled for next week, months after he was nominated.  

Fanning stepped aside as acting Army secretary last week, after senators raised concerns that he was in the position without being yet confirmed. 

Fanning was nominated in September, but was designated "acting" Army Secretary when then-Army Secretary John McHugh retired in October. 

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn McCainLots of (just) talk about 'draining the swamp' 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race Is Georgia turning blue? MORE (R-Ariz.) told reporters last week he raised concerns with the administration that Fanning serving as "acting" secretary without being confirmed violated the Vacancies Act. 

"I wasn't going to have a hearing while they were in violation of the law, that's you know sort of fundamental in the way I do business," he told reporters on Monday. 

The confirmation hearing for Fanning, who would be the first openly gay service secretary if confirmed, is scheduled for Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

Fanning would then have to be confirmed by the full Senate. Sen. Pat RobertsPat RobertsGOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election More Senate Republicans pressure Treasury over debt-equity rules GOP leaders advise members to proceed with caution on Trump MORE (R-Kan.) has vowed to block Fanning's confirmation over the president's plan to transfer Guantánamo detainees to a U.S. location that could potentially be in his state.