Fanning withdraws over Gitmo

Eric Fanning has waited four months for the Senate Armed Services Committee to formally consider his nomination to be President Barack Obama’s next secretary of the Army. On Monday, with no hearing in sight, Fanning threw in the towel. Fanning had been serving as the Army’s top civilian official on an acting basis, but the Pentagon said he would be stepping down from his position until he gets a confirmation hearing — a move that could be months away. With no signs that Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) plans to hold that type of session anytime soon, it’s possible that Fanning will never get his day on Capitol Hill. Fanning is hardly an unknown player, having already held several high-level Pentagon jobs, including a brief stint as Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s chief of staff earlier last year. His confirmation would also make him the first openly gay leader of a military service. His problems stem, in part, from Guantánamo Bay. Republicans in Congress are furious over Obama’s plans to use his executive authority to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility by the end of his term — and transfer dozens of detainees to prisons in the United States — and blocking nominees is one way to show their displeasure”.

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