Army Secretary Mark Esper, at a July 16, 2019 Senate hearing on his nomination to serve as the next secretary of defense. JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES
Army Secretary Mark Esper, at a July 16, 2019 Senate hearing on his nomination to serve as the next secretary of defense. JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

Mark Esper is confirmed as 27th secretary of defense

by Caitlin M. Kenney
Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Mark Esper as defense secretary, ending seven months of turmoil about who would secure the top job at the Pentagon and lead the U.S. military.

Esper was confirmed in a 90-8 vote by the Senate. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., who are all Democratic presidential candidates, were among the lawmakers who voted against Esper.

Since former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned Dec. 31, there have been three acting defense secretaries leading the Pentagon. Former acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was announced by the White House in May as President Donald Trump’s intended nominee for the position, though it never happened. Shanahan resigned in June after several news outlets reported incidents of domestic violence within his family. Trump then selected Esper to be acting defense secretary. By July 15, his nomination to the position was submitted to Congress. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer then stepped in as acting defense secretary while Esper went through the Senate confirmation process. Spencer will leave the post Tuesday after Esper is appointed to the job.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.591560

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