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SASC Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Reed Announce Nomination Hearing for Defense Secretary

Today, after the Senate Armed Services Committee received pre-nomination paperwork from the Executive Branch regarding the nomination of Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, whom President Trump intends to nominate to lead the Department of Defense, U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced the committee will expedite the process to hold a hearing on the nominee. The committee, indicating the importance of thorough vetting of the nominee and their intent to fulfill the Senate’s constitutional role of providing advice and consent, will hold Dr. Esper’s nomination hearing on Tuesday, July 16, at 9:30 a.m.

“We need Senate-confirmed leadership at the Pentagon, and quickly. While we will act expeditiously to consider Acting Secretary Esper’s expected nomination, the Committee will uphold our constitutional advice-and-consent responsibilities with the care and consideration this position deserves,” said Chairman Inhofe. “Next week’s hearing will give committee members the chance to ask questions of the expected nominee and learn more about how he will work to lead the Pentagon, advocate for service members, support the National Defense Strategy and keep American families safe.”

“Chairman Inhofe knows better than anyone how critical it is to have a permanent Secretary of Defense, and I commend him for his bipartisan leadership. We’re expediting the process, but there are no shortcuts and this nominee, like every nominee to this critical post, must be thoroughly vetted and carefully evaluated,” said Ranking Member Reed. “Both Chairman Inhofe and I agree the United States needs a permanent Secretary of Defense. We need a confirmed Secretary of Defense who is effective, efficient, and accountable and in it for the long-haul. This hearing will give us a chance to learn more about the nominee, publicly ask questions, and fulfill the Senate’s constitutional role of providing advice and consent.”

Under committee rules, the Senate Armed Services Committee usually waits seven days between receiving a formal nomination and voting out the nominee. Over the years, the committee has waived this rule in appropriate cases. Given the exigencies of the situation, the committee will waive the seven-day rule for Dr. Esper’s nomination