Senate May Begin to Fill Pentagon Posts

Senate May Begin to Fill Pentagon Posts

The U.S. Senate may soon begin to fill dozens of vacant positions at the Defense Department after lawmakers reached a tentative deal to avert a constitutional showdown over president nominations.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., threatened to change the time-honored rules for filibuster — an act or speech designed to obstruct legislative action — after charging that Republicans unfairly used the procedural maneuver to block President Barack Obama’s nominations for numerous agency posts.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., helped broker a deal between Reid, the Senate majority leader, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the minority leader. The chamber on Tuesday then voted to clear the way for Richard Cordray to be confirmed as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


While the CFPB director is among the most visible of the vacant appointee posts, dozens of others exist at the Pentagon alone.

There were 61 such vacancies at the Defense Department last year, including the position of inspector general, according to a December 2012 report published by the U.S. House of Representatives panel known as the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The report, titled “United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions” and known as the “Plum Book,” is published every four years after a presidential election to identify appointed positions within the government, according to the Government Printing Office’s website.

Of the 61 vacancies at the Pentagon, 47 were at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, three at the Air Force, seven at the Army and four at the Navy, according to the document.

In addition to the inspector general’s office — which has been without a permanent leader for more than a year and a half — the types of positions range from the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, to the undersecretary of the Air Force to the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology.

Lynne Halbrooks is the acting inspector general for the Defense Department and serves as the head of office under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.

The Senate Armed Services Committee also Tuesday announced it plans to meet July 25 to consider Jon Rymer for Pentagon inspector general.

The panel will also consider the nominations of Stephen Preston for general counsel of the Defense Department, Susan Rabern for assistant secretary of the Navy for financial management and comptroller, and Dennis McGinn for assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment.

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Great more politicians in the DOD.

Time to early-retire a bunch of generals to pay for it

The evidence suggests that there was NO negative impact from NOT having these vacancies filled. So, with sequestration here, ELIMINATE these jobs altogether, don’t fill them. CUT the bureacracy, one job at a time, starting at the top. No value added.

I agree with taxpayer

Which evidence? That the Pentagon is sluggish and inefficient as usual with or without those posts filled?

Perhaps it’s a matter of finding the right guy to fill the positions before you go axing them

I too agree with taxpayer! There obviously has been no urgent need to man the posts. Therefore do not man them and save some other poor working slug a furlough day or two.

But hasn’t the SECDEF ordered a 20% cut? Or is the 20% just for show at the WH?

Getting rid of the non-deployable, physically unfit, more that 25 years total time and SUPERFLUOUS flag officers is something that insiders have been demanding of the SecDef for decades. The IG post in particular is CRUCIAL to investigate boondoggles, skullduggery, misappropriations and the basic business of how the DoD interacts with its contractors, foreign governments and Congress.
Some of the posts were left vacant out of political adolescence. Whine all you want about how the Pentagon operates, but unless drastic measures are taken to change the way the puzzle palace operates, things will only get worse without key appointments in crucial positions getting filled by qualified people who understand what they are up against.

Apparently “blight_” wants to retire generals, but probably remains clueless as to many of the force factors in the Pentagon (and they don’t wear uniforms).

Agreed!

If DoD is going to cut 20% of Senior Officers 2015–2017 to save money needed by Sequestration, why not start now rather than wait.

But the jobs are all filled with temporaries, many of whom are also the nominees. The problem is that they also perform their previous appointments. The SECDEF has said he will cut 20% over the next few years. The smart way to do this is to reorganize and move tasks again to the lowest level possible.

You hit the nail on the head!

Never happen. GI

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