August 7th, 2009
04:48 PM ET
11 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. Mark

    It would seem that they were i support of Bush's program to detain susperts indefinately since they are Republicans and every single one of the was behind Bush. We are closing Gitmo. Do they just want to cut them loose, or sublet them to some third world country where they use bamboo to make jails? Maybe they don't think our military is up to keeping them under control in a military prison. Why is it always not in my backyard? If they think it's OK to throw Muslims in jail without any plan, they have to go somewhere. You want them, you keep them, you cretins.

    August 7, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. Claudia in Houson

    Once again the party of NO strikes. They sound like 2 year olds who just learned to say NO to everything.

    August 7, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. m smith

    Do the repos vote yes on anything . If our prisons are safe enough for murders and home grown terrorist then whats the problem . If they are worried about them escaping then maybe we need to improve our prison system? What a bunch of jerks. They same way with everything else Not in my back yard.!!!

    August 7, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  4. Dan, TX

    It's no big deal. The fact that people on both sides is upset simply indicates that people are more interested in political points on both sides rather than solving problems. The US military is fine, it needs to finish up as quickly as possible and get out of Iraq and Afghanistan. That is where the budget needs to be cut.

    August 7, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. Denna

    And the Republicans strike again. Wow! It is too bad they weren't so clever and concerned when the little shrub was screwing up the country. Now all of a sudden, they care. Puulllleeeze. Lazy Party of No.

    August 7, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  6. annie for Palin

    No problem – obama can just grab some criminal off the streets of chicago!

    August 7, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  7. GuyInVA

    PROFESSOR HENRY GATES IS DISAPPOINTED?!?!? SOMEONE GET THIS FIXED. SEE... THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO A – what? It's Secretary of Defense Robert Gates who's disappointed? Never mind. That doesn't matter.

    August 7, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. Keith in Austin

    That's right! Keep blaming the GOP for everything while Pelosi, Reid and Obama are putting their socialist agenda against your best interest. Democrats have controled Congress since 2006 vs.these two men!

    August 7, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  9. mjm

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

    For those of you who missed it, the leadership is in tact.

    These senators were looking out for their state, which is what they should be doing. They did the right thing.

    That's what you get for tying to jam something through congress at the last second.

    August 7, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. Deep Throat

    You have to have a candidate who knows something about the Military program to be Secretary of Defense. So far OBAMA has none.

    August 7, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. jim mcnally

    august recess? it's a good thing the pearl harbor attack didn't happen on july 31 !

    August 7, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  12. jim mcnally

    august recess? its a good thing pearl harbor didn't happen on july 31 !!

    August 7, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  13. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    It is also Obama's fault as he will not give information on Gitmo detainee transfers to Senators whose states are affected. I do not want them in my state and I do not want them in a liberal state like Michigan where some liberal judge might release them on the public. The Armed Forces can still operate with temporary leadership.

    August 7, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  14. New Yorker

    The democrats are ultimately to blame for this because their terrorist sympathizer decided Guantanamo had to be closed before he even knew where the terrorists would be transferred to

    Looks like a lot of you bloggers didn't read the whole article. We do still have an Army Secretary in place and he's been there since 2007 Get a grip!

    August 7, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  15. kat

    why is every one blaming the republicans the democrates out number them. the republican are not stopping things from being done. the democrates are the ones who are out of control. i dont want the terrorist in the very prison putting thier thoughts in american criminals because wheb the american criminals get realised they will become more dangerous!

    August 7, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  16. Tatianna

    Surest evidence yet of blithering idiots. Our values never kept us safe. It is our firm response to those who challenge our values that keeps us safe. Why arent dems outraged at Team Obama taking 7 months to send nominations to a vote? please explain how you blame that on two reps. Are you implying for the part 7 months our troops on battle field without leadership. Are you implying for the past 7 months our national security was unprotected. Well who is CIC over Armed Services and which branch of govt is in charge of national security. Obama campaigned on closing Gitmo and as president, issued a executive order that Gitmo will be shut down no later than 1/22/2010. He is running out of time, the Senate ban on funding to close it will remain in effect until 9/30, the end of this fiscal year. That means Obama cant do anything before 10/1 and will have very little time to shut it down before his self-imposed 1/22/2010 deadline. No all Obama has to do is come up with a plan Clock is ticking. Tic-toc!

    August 8, 2009 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  17. jeremie

    Truth???? Both parties are failures! And bottom line if health care reform passes we will all be taken hostage, if I chose to not have their healthcare plan I get fine 2,400 per year? Wow my government thinks it knows what is best for me, oh joy I see how well my veteren friends are taken care of. Truth is over the next few elections it is our responsibility as americans to vote out all the current officials and break their clicks if we truly want change,

    August 8, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
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