Senator vows to block Obama's Army nominee through 2016

Eric Fanning, Army Secretary, Openly Gay
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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.) is vowing to keep a hold on President Obama’s nominee for secretary of the Army until the president leaves office and is no longer in a position to close the Guantanamo Bay prison.

“The hold will stay until we can get past this year,” Roberts told his home=state newspaper, The Topeka Capital-Journal.

The nominee, Eric Fanning, had a confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he talked about his concern for cuts to the force.

But Roberts placed a hold on his confirmation in protest of Obama’s push to close the military prison in Cuba. One of the potential sites to relocate detainees to is Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

In 2009, Roberts placed a hold on then-nominee John McHugh, who retired as Army secretary in October, for the same reason.

If confirmed, Fanning would be the first openly gay service secretary.

Roberts said his hold is not because of any personal issues with Fanning.

“I want to stress that it’s nothing personal,” Roberts told the Topeka newspaper. “It’s just the way it is.”