Senators Drop Protest over Army Cuts

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The last of several senators that had placed a hold on a senior Pentagon nominee to protest cuts at Army posts in their states last week allowed the individual to receive a confirmation vote on the chamber floor.Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) had placed a hold on the nomination of Stephen Hedger to be DOD’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs over the cuts planned for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (2,631 soldiers) and Fort Wainwright (73 soldiers), part of the restructuring plan the Army announced in July to shrink its active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers.Sullivan received a briefing on the cuts from the Army and met with Hedger, reported Politico. “While this did not convince him that the Army’s decision is strategically sound, providing this information was a good first step towards providing some transparency in the Army’s decision-making process,” a spokesman for the senator said.With Sullivan’s hold lifted, the Senate confirmed Hedger by voice vote on Thursday. His nomination was not affected by an ongoing effort by John McCain (R-Ariz.) to block civilian nominations from advancing past the Senate Armed Services Committee because it was privileged under Senate rules, which allowed it to bypass the committee.Several other senators previously had placed a hold on Hedger’s nomination, including John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). Cornyn had criticized the personnel reductions slated for Forts Hood (3,350 soldiers) and Bliss (1,219 soldiers); Isakson objected to the loss of 3,400 soldiers at Fort Benning and 947 at Fort Stewart.————–Image Sourcelast_img

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