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Confirmation of Biden National Security Picks on Hold at the Senate

Confirmation hearings

Confirmation of Biden National Security Picks on Hold at the Senate

The confirmation of twelve of President Joe Biden’s senior national security nominees remains in limbo after several senators have imposed procedural holds, potentially delaying the administration’s deadline for introducing new military leaders and policies, Defense News reported Tuesday.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has recommended a dozen nominees to the chamber since June, but at least three lawmakers representing both parties have used their hold privileges to bargain with the administration over various concerns.

A “hold” is an informal practice through which senators convey their objections to the upper chamber’s leadership, stalling the nominees’ confirmation.

On Tuesday, the holds on the confirmation of Air Force secretary nominee Frank Kendall III and Pentagon acquisitions head nominee Heidi Shyu were lifted by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Later the same day, however, Michigan Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow announced that they were delaying a vote on Kendall as well as an undisclosed number of other Pentagon nominees.

Other Biden picks whose confirmation remain frozen include assistant defense secretary nominees Deborah Rosenblum, Christopher Maier, Ely Ratner and Shawn Skelly; Department of Defense general counsel nominee Caroline Krass; cost assessment and program evaluation director nominee Susanna Blume; Air Force undersecretary nominee Gina Ortiz-Jones; and assistant Navy secretary nominee Meredith Berger.

Also on hold are the confirmations of Jill Hruby and Frank Rose, who were tapped to hold the two highest positions at the National Nuclear Security Administration, the agency managing the national nuclear warhead stockpile.

Meanwhile, Sen. Jack Reed, who heads the armed services panel, said it is essential that the DOD is staffed immediately. The Rhode Island lawmaker said that he is working toward that objective by engaging in discussions with his fellow senators.

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