August 7th, 2009
04:48 PM ET
10 years ago

Senate leaves for break without finalizing Army leadership

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Pentagon expressed disappointment that the Senate departed for a month-long August recess without finalizing the nomination of the Secretary of the Army.

On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services committee approved the nomination for Rep. John McHugh to become the new Army Secretary and Joseph Westphal to be his undersecretary.

The nominations were sent to the full Senate for a vote which did not come to pass because Kansas senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts put a "hold" on the nominations. The two Republican senators made the parliamentary move on Thursday because they want the administration to give them information about reported plans to transfer Guantanamo detainees to jails in Kansas or Michigan.

"The Senators requested either assurance that Leavanworth, Kansas was not an option or answer" to questions about the reported plans, according to a statement put out by the senators' offices.

The Pentagon was critical of the move. "Secretary Gates is deeply disappointed that parochial issues have now delayed the confirmation of the Army Secretary - and the Under Secretary - by at least a month, during wartime," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

Peter Geren, who has been Army Secretary since 2007, will remain on the job until the nomination is finalized.

Filed under: Pentagon • Senate
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Observing Zion

    Zero, stick to the crayons.These topics are beyond your mental capacity.I see alot of intelligent, well put together comments, but you....

    August 7, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. alvino

    Once again, the sick right wing of our government holds the Senate hostage while we are at war. If any democrat did this, they would be labelled anti American by the anti American republicans.

    August 7, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. mb[texas

    wow} Republicans obstructing anyway .If you offered the Republicans a pot of gold they would say no.They act like kids if you do not play We will not play we will go home and suck our thumbs.

    August 7, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. Observing Zion

    barrystash, define Terrorist who puts forth the systematic use of terror as a means of coercion. Sounds to me like a republican..

    August 7, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. Tatianna

    why did the Senate Armed Service Comm send nominations 4 days before August recess. Obama been in office for 7 months. Unless the vote takes over 7 months, dems have no reason to complain. Dems scare tactics and fearmongering is not working. How is US hands partially tied during war, when Geren has been Army Sec since 2007 and will remain so until vote is finalized. Blame Obama,If our country isnt protected, doesnt dems have leadership over the Pentagon. Gitmo didnt exist when Danny Pearl was beheaded. Why didnt dem congress approve funds to close Gitmo. Now that dems are in control, theyre finding out that it isnt easy as they thought to find other methods to keep America safe.

    August 7, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. HJA

    Zero????????? Is that a name??????? Or an IQ?????? There would be no crisis if it wasnt for the RepubliNAZIS.

    August 7, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. wavethatflag

    Put on hold til after recess? Wow, could you imagine what the Repubs would be saying if the shoe was on the other foot? You know, endangering our troops, blah blah blah.

    August 7, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Kate in SW Fla

    Republicans, those fake patriots. The hell with the military, there are political points to score!

    August 7, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. Kate in SW Fla

    Steve (the real idiot one) we have hundreds of terrorists in prison on American soil. Plus, most f them were tried in New York, which has had an attack or two. And, several of then are ehaded there for trials, and no one in New York is cowering in a corner like the cowards in Kansas. This is about politics, and nothing else.

    August 7, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. FL for Change

    And...yet again...the REPUKES stop progress. Am I the only one getting sick and tired of the GOP? I hope all of their ventures are remembered during the next election cycle....

    August 7, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Because the nation's security is sooo important to them

    it is all you hear from GOP, the nation's security is at risk

    evidently not enough to take action on this before they head to the beach for some drinks with those little umbrellas in them


    August 7, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. Ishmael, Northern Ireland

    One thing for sure is that, Repers still think they hold political upper hand, they should understand Americans you are watching and are full engaged in politics than ever before. Tit for tat is to score cheap political point, is wrong game especially with our troops in mission without leadership is bad move for republicans senetors, will see you in ballot box next time

    August 7, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. vette gal

    It seems that everyone on this blog is blaming the republicans when in fact it is both the republicans and the senate's fault. Our wonderful senate should not have taken their vacation without this being settled. Have any of you ever looked at how many days the house of representatives and senators actually work? I'm sure it would surpise most of you. Last year they were actually in session only 118 days. Maybe they should work a little longer rather than taking vacations to ensure they will be re-elected in the future by going back to their home states to campaign.

    August 7, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  14. Zero.

    If CNN expect Hillary Clinton, to save Barack Obama's failures.
    You should have done more to get her Elected..

    August 7, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. alvino

    Hey you wingnuts-

    If Gates is disappointed, I think we should all be disappointed.

    August 7, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Zero.

    CNN, doing the Twist again. We are bigger than the opposition...

    August 7, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. Thinking Voter

    I'm a moderate and will never vote Republican again, on any level. They have betrayed America in this and in all other dealings.

    August 7, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. Willy Brown

    democrats hate the military no surprise here.

    August 7, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. Sandy Graham

    I Sandy wondered back when Reagan was president and saying that the democrats were the Nazi or Communist party here in America and Yet President Reagan was stating when the wall in Berlin came down I quote "Hallaluha they got democracy" well something in those two statements just contradicted each other and that's when I began to wonder who was the good guys and who was the bad guys. So Reagan just blew his crediblity when he made that statement about the wall and democracy . So I turned to the only source other than the bible I knew I could trust with the truth. The DICTIONARY was the source I turned to and in my dictionary Democracy is next to the word Democrat where as Republican is next to the word Republic and Then I began noticing Republic is usually included in the name of a communist part of a country such as the Republic of China, and so on so what does that say for those republicans such as Reagan and Rush Limbaugh also the word conservative means just what it says con meaning against and servative mean serving so the meaning of a conservative is against serving the people.. How stupid do they think the public IS????????????????????

    August 7, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. Michael

    Mr. Obama made a decision but has no plan to execute that decision and no money for whatever plan he comes up with. As for those who say they should be in a US Prison guess what they are. Gitmo is a US military base therefore the Prison there is a US prison. As for those who think the reccess is a time when they do not work you are wrong it is when they are supposed to go back to thier hoems and talk with the voters to see what they want and then do it. As for the economic crisis it is both sides fault. Bush managed to stave off the recession for most of his presidency despite Democrats being the party of No for the most part. Now that the democrats are in control of the presedency like they have had in both sides of the legislative since January 2007 the roles are reversed.

    August 7, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  21. jj12345

    Its not like that the Army is going without a secretary, why did it take so long to nominate someone. Its not like the Army wont function if this vote is not completed. The current secretary stays on until the new one is confirmed.

    August 7, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. Zero.

    Muslims invaded Europe 50yrs ago. You know so little about Europe. How can you associate their health Care with yours??

    August 7, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. Nia - AZ

    Obstruct, delay, lie, stone's the rethug way

    August 7, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  24. Jackie Phillips

    Sounds to me like the two Republican senators, Brownback, and Roberts, of Kansas, have put our country at risk by not finalizing the Secretary of the Army before they left on vacation–but what should we expect from Republicans– All they due is say no and complain about everything-even accused this administration of not keeping this country safe--now look what they have done --and now seeing how they are acting --I know now I will NEVER vote for another Republican in my lifetime-they are racist, stupid, and keeping our country, that I love, from moving forward in a positive way for all Americans–how Unamerican is that???

    Jackie from Ohio

    August 7, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. Mike

    We're a country at war, and a pair of senators have the nerve to interfere with our army because of petty political infighting? Talk about abuse of power..

    August 7, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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