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Senate confirms Wormuth as first female Army secretary after delay

Senate confirms Wormuth as first female Army secretary after delay
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The Senate on Thursday confirmed President BidenJoe BidenFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Saudis picked up drugs in Cairo used to kill Khashoggi: report Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting MORE's nominee to be Army secretary, making her the first woman in the job a day after a procedural mix-up stalled her historic appointment.

The Senate approved Christine Wormuth’s nomination to lead the Army by unanimous consent on Thursday morning after confirming and then un-confirming her the night before.

On Wednesday night, the Senate appeared to approve Wormuth’s nomination to be Army secretary when Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellSenate Democrats threaten to block 2026 World Cup funds unless women's soccer team get equal pay Senate confirms Biden's top scientist Senate chaos: Johnson delays exit as votes pushed to Friday MORE (D-Wash.) took to the floor and got unanimous consent to confirm Wormuth, as well as a batch of military nominations.

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But a couple hours later, Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIn Congress, what goes on behind closed doors? Senate Judiciary begins investigation into DOJ lawmaker subpoenas America needs a stable Israeli government MORE (D-N.Y.) got unanimous consent to “vitiate” the earlier action on Wormuth, rescinding her confirmation.

Wormuth had already tweeted that she was “honored” to be confirmed, and Schumer and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston had both congratulated her in since-deleted tweets.

Schumer did not explain the reason for the reversal on the Senate floor, and his office said only that it was a "clerical mix-up."

Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerGOP senator introduces constitutional amendment to ban flag burning Trump dismisses climate change, calls on Biden to fire joint chiefs Putin says Nord Stream 2 pipeline nearing completion MORE (R-N.D.) told reporters Thursday afternoon the snafu the night before was because he hadn't yet lifted his hold on the nomination. Cramer said at Wormuth's confirmation hearing he would block her confirmation until an issue with a constituent soldier's pay was resolved.

Cramer lifted the hold Thursday after Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks assured him the issue would be fixed, he said.

"I've never doubted she'd be confirmed," Cramer said of Wormuth. "I think she'll do a fine job, so it was never about her. It was about the Army and this very archaic HR system that doesn't pay people."

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The mix-up proved to be just a momentary hiccup for a nominee that is widely respected on both sides of the aisle and sailed through her Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing earlier this month.

The panel advanced Wormuth in a voice vote earlier this week, about a week and a half after a confirmation hearing in which she vowed to be a vocal advocate for the Army in budget fights among the services.

She also expressed concern about whether National Guard and reserve forces are being overused.

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 Corporation.

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.

Jordain Carney contributed to this report, which was updated at 4:35 p.m.