Trump Appointee Will Temporarily Lead Pentagon Until Biden's Pick Is Confirmed
Added 01-14-21 04:40:04pm EST - “David Norquist will be Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s acting defense secretary, if only for a few days. A retired rear admiral, John Kirby, will be the Pentagon press secretary.” - Nytimes.com
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David Norquist will be Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s acting defense secretary, if only for a few days. A retired rear admiral, John Kirby, will be the Pentagon press secretary.
WASHINGTON — A low-profile deputy defense secretary will be the lone Trump holdover running the Pentagon until President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s defense secretary pick is confirmed. Mr. Biden is also planning to install John F. Kirby — the former spokesman for John Kerry when he was secretary of state, Chuck Hagel when he was defense secretary and Mike Mullen when he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — as the next Pentagon press secretary.
David L. Norquist, who is now the No. 2 civilian at the Pentagon, will be Mr. Biden’s acting defense secretary — if only for a few days — transition officials said.
The transition team has been pushing to get Mr. Biden’s choice for the top post, a retired Army four-star general, Lloyd J. Austin III, confirmed as soon as possible. But unlike the other top national security nominees on the Biden team, Mr. Austin will have to jump through three congressional hoops first. The Senate and the House must approve a waiver for him to lead the Pentagon since he has not been retired from military service for at least seven years, and then he must be confirmed by the Senate.
Mr. Biden has decided that instead of bypassing Mr. Norquist and plucking Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy to run the Pentagon until there is a confirmed defense secretary, he will adhere to tradition. Under federal law, a Senate-confirmed deputy secretary automatically assumes the duties of the secretary during an absence. The decision to keep Mr. Norquist until a defense secretary is confirmed was reported earlier by Politico.
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