The Senate confirmed a slate of eight Pentagon nominees late Tuesday, including investment banker Richard Spencer to be Navy secretary.
The confirmation of Spencer, a former Marine Corps pilot who breezed through his confirmation hearing last month, means only the Army awaits a Senate-confirmed service secretary.
And approving eight nominees more than doubles the number of Pentagon confirmations in the Trump administration, bringing the total to 15.
In addition to Spencer, those confirmed Tuesday are Matthew Donovan as Air Force undersecretary; Ryan McCarthy as Army undersecretary; Ellen Lord as undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics; Lucian Niemeyer as assistant secretary of Defense for energy, installations and environment; Robert Hood as assistant secretary of Defense for legislative affairs; Robert Daigle as director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation; and Elaine McCusker as a principal deputy undersecretary of Defense, comptroller.
Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE (R-Ariz.), who is home in Arizona receiving treatment for brain cancer, applauded the confirmations and urged both the White House and Senate to pick up the pace on Pentagon nominees.
“The Senate has been paralyzed by politics and partisanship, and it is unfortunate that it took so long to approve these qualified nominees for critical positions,” he said in a statement. “I hope the White House will expeditiously send the Senate nominations for the many positions that remain unfilled at the Department of Defense.
“At a time when the threats to our country continue to grow, neither the White House nor the Senate can afford to delay any further in giving Secretary [James] Mattis the leadership team he needs to defend our national security.”