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Senate votes to confirm 8 Pentagon political appointees

Senate votes to confirm 8 Pentagon political appointees
Posted at 6:13 AM, Aug 02, 2017

The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to confirm eight of President Donald Trump's picks to help lead the Department of Defense, more than doubling the number of his administration's political appointees at the Pentagon.

The list of eight confirmations included Richard Spencer to be Secretary of the Navy and Ellen Lord to be the Undersecretary of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

Spencer, a former US Marine Corps aviator and Wall Street executive, is only the second service secretary to be confirmed in the Trump administration. Heather Wilson was confirmed as Air Force secretary in May and the administration has struggled to get an Army Secretary through the nomination process after two false starts.

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. John McCain, issued a statement late Tuesday welcoming the Senate's vote while also criticizing the delay before confirming the positions.

"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," McCain said. "I hope the White House will expeditiously send the Senate nominations for the many positions that remain unfilled at the Department of Defense."

There are 53 total Senate-confirmable politically appointed positions at the Department of Defense. Tuesday's vote brings the confirmed total to 15.