Governors are sent by Him to punish the evildoers and praise the virtuous (1 Peter 2:14).

     
Congressional Record2017/11/15Senate | House | Extensions

2017/11/15 > Senate > S7229 >     1 | Next Article

        
[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 187 (Wednesday, November 15, 2017)]
[Pages S7229-S7230]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO




                           EXECUTIVE CALENDAR

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will proceed to the consideration of the following nomination, which the clerk will report.

The bill clerk read the nomination of Mark T. Esper, of Virginia, to be Secretary of the Army.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be up to 10 minutes of debate on the nomination, equally divided in the usual form.

The Senator from Rhode Island.

Mr. REED. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss the nomination of Dr. Mark Esper to serve as the next Secretary of the Army. The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on his nomination on November 2, and he was voted out of committee shortly thereafter.

Dr. Esper is a proud graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. Following his graduation from West Point, Dr. Esper served as a rifle platoon leader and subsequently deployed with the 101st Airborne Division during the 1991 Gulf war. He went on to command an airborne rifle company that supported a NATO rapid reaction force. As such, Dr. Esper has learned the trade of a soldier from the very basics, leading other young Americans in combat. To me, that is probably the best training one could have to be a Secretary of any service.

Following Dr. Esper's active duty service, he transferred to the Virginia National Guard. He ultimately retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

In addition to Dr. Esper's military career, he also has a wealth of public policy service, having worked on Capitol Hill as Majority Leader Bill Frist's national security adviser, as well as serving in the Department of Defense during President George W. Bush's administration.

Finally, for the past 7 years, Dr. Esper has worked at Raytheon, where he rose to the senior echelons of the company to serve as the vice president for Government Relations.

The U.S. Army is one of our greatest institutions, and if Dr. Esper is confirmed today, he will be leading an organization at a time in which it is facing many challenges. Most urgently, the Army must continue to improve full spectrum readiness while, at the same time, deploy soldiers around the world.

The Army also continues to grapple with modernizing the force, to include how best to make targeted investments in programs and canceling those efforts that are underperforming or are cost prohibitive. [[Page S7230]]

Based on Dr. Esper's qualifications and experience, as well as his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, I will vote in favor of his nomination to be the next Secretary of the Army.

Dr. Esper's unique perspective will enable him to tackle many challenges facing the Army head-on, and I trust that as the next Secretary of the Army, he will do his best to lead the men and women, and their families, who serve this Nation so ably and courageously.

Once again, I would like to say that with his experience as an infantry platoon leader at the front, with soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division, he knows--as few people do--the real cost of our national security and the real challenge of being in our Army. It is keeping faith with those men and women and it is doing everything they can and we can to protect this Nation. With that experience, I am very confident that he will be an extraordinary Secretary of the Army.

I yield the floor.

I suggest the absence of a quorum.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.

Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Moran). Without objection, it is so ordered. Nomination of David Zatezalo

Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I wish to make a statement about the second vote we are going to have, and I urge my colleagues to vote against the nomination of David Zatezalo as the Mine Safety and Health Administrator.

MSHA is responsible for protecting the safety and health of miners in this country and for holding companies that put their workers' lives at risk accountable. So it really is disappointing to me that President Trump nominated one of the industry's worst health and safety offenders to lead this critically important agency.

This is, unfortunately, just another in a long list of decisions by President Trump that jeopardizes workers' health, safety, and financial security in order to prioritize corporations and special interests.

I really hope our colleagues will join me in rejecting President Trump's extreme agenda and this nominee.

Thank you.

I yield the floor.

I suggest the absence of a quorum.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.

Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak on the nomination of Dr. Mark Esper to be Secretary of the Army.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I rise today to support the nomination of Dr. Mark Esper to be Secretary of the Army. Perhaps more than any other service, our Army is experiencing the strain of 16 years of continuous conflict. From our troops on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq to recent headlines about the tragic loss of four soldiers in Niger, there are constant reminders that we remain a nation at war. And with rising threats around the world, the operational tempo is not slowing down.

We owe our young men and women in uniform leadership that fits their service. I am confident that Dr. Esper will provide our Army with that leadership. His record of service in the Army, in the Pentagon, and on Capitol Hill provides the foundation for the leadership our soldiers deserve. I am also confident that he will call upon his experience in the private sector to bring a reform mindset to the many challenges facing our Army, such as the readiness crisis and the urgent gaps in capabilities and modernization.

Dr. Esper began his career as an Infantry officer in the 101st Airborne Division, serving with distinction in the first Gulf war. He later served on active duty in Europe, and on the Army staff in Washington, DC, before transitioning to the National Guard and retiring after 21 years of service. He was an Airborne Ranger and recipient of the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Meritorious Service Medals, among other awards and qualifications.

Dr. Esper also worked national security issues on Capitol Hill with many of my colleagues here. He was a professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. Later, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.

I will not hold it against him that he is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He also holds degrees from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and George Washington University.

Our soldiers continue to prove their commitment, courage, skill, and determination. In return, we owe them the same kind of leadership. I believe Dr. Esper will provide that leadership.

I am proud to support Dr. Esper's nomination, and I ask my colleagues to do the same.

I yield the floor.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the question is, Will the Senate advise and consent to the Esper nomination?

Mr. REED. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?

There is a sufficient second.

The clerk will call the roll.

The bill clerk called the roll.

Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz) and the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Tillis).

Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. Booker), the Senator from California (Mrs. Feinstein) and the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. Menendez) are necessarily absent.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?

The result was announced--yeas 89, nays 6, as follows: [Rollcall Vote No. 274 Ex.] YEAS--89 Alexander Baldwin Barrasso Bennet Blumenthal Blunt Boozman Brown Burr Cantwell Capito Cardin Carper Casey Cassidy Cochran Collins Coons Corker Cornyn Cortez Masto Cotton Crapo Daines Donnelly Duckworth Durbin Enzi Ernst Fischer Flake Franken Gardner Graham Grassley Hassan Hatch Heinrich Heitkamp Heller Hirono Hoeven Inhofe Isakson Johnson Kaine Kennedy King Klobuchar Lankford Leahy Lee Manchin McCain McCaskill McConnell Moran Murkowski Murphy Murray Nelson Paul Perdue Peters Portman Reed Risch Roberts Rounds Rubio Sasse Schatz Schumer Scott Shaheen Shelby Stabenow Strange Sullivan Tester Thune Toomey Udall Van Hollen Warner Whitehouse Wicker Wyden Young NAYS--6 Gillibrand Harris Markey Merkley Sanders Warren NOT VOTING--5 Booker Cruz Feinstein Menendez Tillis

The nomination was confirmed. ____________________



Back to Top | Next Article | Source: Congress.gov

Legislative BranchLive Floor Updates, Congressional Record

     


Members, Committees

Live: House, Senate, Deck

Votes: House, Senate

Record: Daily, Weekly

Prayer, News, Reporters