Senate confirms ex-Lockheed exec for top Pentagon policy role

Senate confirms ex-Lockheed exec for top Pentagon policy role
© Getty Images

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed former Lockheed Martin executive John Rood to be under secretary of Defense for policy.

Lawmakers voted 81-7, with Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOn paper, Wilkie is the perfect candidate for VA secretary, but his qualifications go further Sacha Baron Cohen mulls arming toddlers with guns in inaugural episode Ocasio-Cortez to campaign with Bernie Sanders in Kansas MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders: Trump should confront Putin over Mueller probe indictments Midterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street McConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters MORE (D-Mass.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyHillicon Valley: Mueller indicts Russians for DNC hack | US officially lifts ZTE ban | AT&T CEO downplays merger challenge | Microsoft asks for rules on facial recognition technology | Dems want probe into smart TVs Dems push FTC to investigate smart TVs over privacy concerns Hillicon Valley: Hacker tried to sell military docs on dark web | Facebook fined over Cambridge Analytica | US closer to lifting ZTE ban | Trump, Obama lose followers in Twitter purge | DOJ weighs appeal on AT&T merger MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandMidterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street McConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters Dem senator: Kavanaugh would 'turn back the clock' on women's health care MORE (D-N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisMcConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters Booker seizes on Kavanaugh confirmation fight Seeking asylum does not make illegal entry into America legal MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies for Putin summit: 'He’s not my enemy’ Booker seizes on Kavanaugh confirmation fight Dem senator: Kavanaugh would 'turn back the clock' on women's health care MORE (D-N.J.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDems launch pressure campaign over migrant families Senators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families Dems say new emails show Cohen ‘selling access’ to White House MORE (D-Ore.) voting no.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rood, previously the senior vice president of Lockheed Martin International, served in several roles during the George W. Bush administration. He will now take the Pentagon‘s top policy job, after the White House in October named him for the position. 

The confirmation process wasn't without its hurdles. Some lawmakers in November had expressed concern over Rood’s future interactions with his former company.

Rood had signed a White House ethics pledge to recuse himself from all decisions involving Lockheed for two years and divest himself from the defense contractor. But he would not confirm to Warren that he would not seek a waiver that would allow him to participate in matters involving the defense contractor as under secretary.

“Will you commit not to seek such a waiver during your time in office?” Warren asked him during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Rood declined multiple times to say "yes" or "no." Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRand Paul ‘concerned’ about Kavanaugh Senate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE (R-Ariz.) accused Rood of “ducking the answer here.”

The exchange was not enough to bar Rood from the policy position, as the Senate Armed Services Committee approved his nomination in late November.