Robert Work will be nominated to serve in the Pentagon’s No. 2 spot, the White House announced Friday.
The decision is by no means a surprise. News of the pending nomination broke a few days ago, and the Senate Armed Service Committee jumped the gun this morning, announcing it would hold his confirmation hearing next week.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel thanked the committee for its “prompt action.”
Work, who is currently the CEO at the Center for a New American Security, previously served as the under secretary for the Navy, with Hagel calling him an “admired and tested leader” and a “nationally recognized strategic thinker.”
Work, if confirmed, will replace Acting Deputy Secretary Christine Fox, who stepped into the role in December, becoming the Pentagon’s highest-ranking woman.
The former Navy official returns to the Pentagon as it faces a challenging fiscal environment, and draws down its presence in Afghanistan.
Hagel sidestepped questions about a drawdown timeline, specific U.S. troop levels, or when he believes a bilateral security agreement would be signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, but he did say that Pentagon leaders continue to work with allies to plan for a “post-2014 mission.”
Hagel also addressed the department’s ongoing ethics scandals, noting that he plans to appoint a senior-level ethics officer.
“I don’t think there is one simple answer to the issue of ethics, values, a lapse in some of those areas that we do know about,” Hagel said. “That’s why we’re taking a hard look at this. I think we need to find out: Is there a deep, wide problem? If there is, then what’s the scope of that problem. How did this occur.”
What We're Following See More »
The national polls, once again, tell very different stories: Clinton leads by just one point in the IBD, Rasmussen, and LA Times tracking polls, while she shows a commanding 12 point lead in the ABC news poll and a smaller but sizable five point lead in the CNN poll. The Republican Remington Research Group released a slew of polls showing Trump up in Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina, a tie in Florida, and Clinton leads in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia. However, an independent Siena poll shows Clinton up 7 in North Carolina, while a Monmouth poll shows Trump up one in Arizona
Since the release of the Access Hollywood tape, on which Donald Trump boasted of sexually assaulting women, "Senate Republicans have seen their fortunes dip, particularly in states like Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania," where Hillary Clinton now leads. Jennifer Duffy writes that she now expects Democrats to gain five to seven seats—enough to regain control of the chamber.
"Of the Senate seats in the Toss Up column, Trump only leads in Indiana and Missouri where both Republicans are running a few points behind him. ... History shows that races in the Toss Up column never split down the middle; one party tends to win the lion’s share of them."
"Some Republicans are running so far away from their party’s nominee that they are threatening to sue TV stations for running ads that suggest they support Donald Trump. Just two weeks before Election Day, five Republicans―Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), David Jolly (R-Fla.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican running for an open seat that’s currently occupied by his brother―contend that certain commercials paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee provide false or misleading information by connecting them to the GOP nominee. Trump is so terrible, these Republicans are essentially arguing, that tying them to him amounts to defamation."
Former Illinois GOP Congressman Aaron Schock "recently agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for making an excessive solicitation for a super PAC that was active in his home state of Illinois four years ago." Schock resigned from Congress after a story about his Downton Abbey-themed congressional office raised questions about how he was using taxpayer dollars.