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) SandersAvenatti ‘still considering’ presidential run despite domestic violence arrest Sanders rolls out bill aimed at getting Walmart to raise wages Left wants a vote on single-payer bill in new Congress MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenAvenatti ‘still considering’ presidential run despite domestic violence arrest Warren congratulates former student and researcher on election to Congress Illinois New Members 2019 MORE (D-Mass.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyHouse Dems can take on climate change — if they don’t get distracted by Trump Dems find easy target in Trump commerce chief Trump mulls replacing Commerce chief Ross by end of year: reports MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandHillicon Valley: Facebook reeling after NYT report | Dems want DOJ probe | HQ2 brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Judge upholds Russian troll farm indictments | Cyber moonshot panel unveils recommendations On The Money: Senior GOP senator warns Trump against shutdown | Treasury sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | HQ2 deal brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Senate confirms Bowman to Fed board Gillibrand criticizes financial incentives for Amazon MORE (D-N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisAvenatti ‘still considering’ presidential run despite domestic violence arrest Election Countdown: Florida Senate race heads to hand recount | Dem flips Maine House seat | New 2020 trend - the 'friend-raiser' | Ad war intensifies in Mississippi runoff | Blue wave batters California GOP Human Rights Campaign chief to leave organization next year MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerAvenatti ‘still considering’ presidential run despite domestic violence arrest Senators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill Election Countdown: Florida Senate race heads to hand recount | Dem flips Maine House seat | New 2020 trend - the 'friend-raiser' | Ad war intensifies in Mississippi runoff | Blue wave batters California GOP MORE (D-N.J.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Energy: Trump to visit California wildfire victims | Head of Park Service climate program resigns | Dems rip Trump pick for energy panel Dems slam Trump’s energy regulator nominee Grassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal 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 McCainMcCain would have said ‘enough’ to acrimony in midterms, says Cindy McCain Trump nominates Jim Gilmore for ambassador post Arizona New Members 2019 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.