Senate panel advances first female Army secretary nominee

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday advanced President Biden’s nominee to be Army secretary, Christine Wormuth, who would be the first woman in the job if she is confirmed.

In a voice vote at the top of an unrelated hearing, the committee approved Wormuth’s nomination to be Army secretary, sending it to the full Senate for a vote. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) asked that he be recorded as abstaining from the vote.

Wormuth worked in the Pentagon during the Obama administration and most recently has served as the director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corp.

Wormuth also served as the head of Biden’s Pentagon transition team, a role she took over after Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks stepped aside to focus on her own confirmation process.

Tuesday’s committee vote comes after Wormuth sailed through her confirmation hearing earlier this month.

During her hearing, Wormuth expressed concern about whether National Guard and reserve forces are being overused.

The National Guard, in particular, has had a very busy last year or so, being called upon to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic, support law enforcement during civil unrest in the country last summer, assist after natural disasters, bolster cyber defenses and local poll workers during last year’s elections and deploy to the Capitol for nearly five months in the wake of the Jan. 6 resurrection.

“I am of course concerned about the possibility that there are unreasonable or unhelpful demands on the National Guard, as well as the reserves,” Wormuth said during her confirmation hearing.

“So if I were confirmed I would want to look closely at — with Gen. [Daniel] Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau — to look at exactly how that strain is manifesting and whether his assessment is that there is undue stress on the force,” she added.

Tags Joe Biden Kathleen Hicks Kevin Cramer
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