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.