The White House on Tuesday said it was tapping its current “WMD czar” for a job at the Energy Department overseeing nuclear weapon programs.
The Senate has to approve the nomination of Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall to become the deputy secretary of the Energy Department, the New York Times reports. She is intended to replace Daniel Poneman as the department’s second-ranking official.
If approved for the job, Sherwood-Randall’s portfolio will include managing key National Nuclear Security Administration programs to update aging fissile material-production capabilities and to refurbish old atomic arms.
Since 2013, she has worked at the White House as the coordinator for defense policy, countering weapons of mass destruction, and arms control. No replacement has yet been named for Sherwood-Randall on the National Security Council.
Meanwhile, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced it had selected senior defense programs official Tim Driscoll to fill a newly created position of uranium program manager, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
Driscoll’s appointment is understood to follow a recommendation from an independent “red team” on options for overhauling uranium-processing facilities at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee.
In his new role, Driscoll will be “responsible for overseeing all program elements for maintaining NNSA’s uranium manufacturing capabilities in support of mission requirements,” says an announcement from NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz.
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Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chair, announced he's pulling out of the running to regain the chairman's post. Dean "announced in a pre-recorded video to a conference of state Democratic chairs that he would step aside to allow for a new face to lead the party as it seeks to rebuild."
"Once again, businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein has come through for the National Park Service. This time, he's pledged funding needed to modernize the Washington Monument's elevator-- but the monument will remain closed until 2019 while repairs and improvements are underway. Rubenstein's donation of between $2-3 million, announced Friday, will correct those ongoing elevator issues, which have shuttered the monument since August 17."
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."
Bill Schuette, Michigan's attorney general, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state to halt the recount of the state's voting results. The recount was elected by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Schuette says the recount shouldn't occur because Stein cited no evidence of voter fraud or tabulation error.
"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.