Thornberry on Acting Secretary Shanahan

Jun 18, 2019
Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC - Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following remarks on the withdrawal of Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan's nomination, the appointment of Mark Esper, Secretary of the Army, as Acting Secretary of Defense, and the urgent need to have a permanent Secretary of Defense nominated and confirmed by the Senate:

“Pat Shanahan has performed the duties of Acting Secretary of Defense and Deputy Secretary of Defense well. I am grateful for his service and wish him and his family well.

"Mark Esper has distinguished himself as a soldier, public servant, and senior executive. He has done an outstanding job as Secretary of the Army, and I am confident that he will do an admirable job as the Acting Secretary of Defense.

“But, however well-qualified Secretary Esper may be, it is critical that the President nominate, and that the Senate confirm, a permanent Secretary of Defense as quickly as possible. This job should be filled in a matter of a few weeks, not months. The uncertainty surrounding this vacant office encourages our enemies and unsettles our allies. Our country and our troops are facing an unprecedented array of threats around the world. We urgently need a Secretary of Defense that has the confidence of the President, the Congress, and the country.”