The Senate is expected to vote to confirm a number of nominees for Defense Department and other national security positions this week, including the next Secretary of the Navy, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said May 20.
In floor remarks Wednesday, McConnell highlighted the nominations of Kenneth Braithwaite, currently the U.S. Ambassador to Norway, for the next Navy Secretary and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to become the next Director of National Intelligence.
“I hope our Democratic colleagues will not block the Senate from filing these key national security vacancies before we adjourn later this week,” McConnell said.
The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) voted Tuesday to favorably report over 2,600 pending military nominations to the Senate floor. Along with Braithwaite, the committee voted to approve the confirmations of Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Charles Brown to become the next Air Force chief of staff, James Anderson to become deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, and Victor Mercado to become assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans and capabilities.
If confirmed, Braithwaite would succeed former Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who resigned in April amid criticism of his removal of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Commander Capt. Brett Crozier (Defense Daily, April 8). Army Undersecretary James McPherson has been serving as acting Navy secretary in the interim.