- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Senate Armed Services Committee will expedite the nomination process for the Pentagon’s comptroller and Chief Financial Officer David Norquist to be deputy secretary of defense and plans to hold a confirmation hearing next week, rushing to fill a number of posts at the Pentagon.

The announcement comes two days after the committee pressed President Trump’s Defense Secretary nominee Mark Esper, whose confirmation process has also been expedited.

Mr. Norquist has been performing the duties of deputy secretary for the past several months to maintain stability and continuity in the department,” committee chairman James Inhofe said in a statement Thursday.

“I believe Mr. Norquist is more than capable of fulfilling the requirements of this critical position.”

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, the committee’s ranking Democrat, noted that nearly 20 top Pentagon positions are vacant or have been filled in a temporary capacity as the primary need to expedite the process.

“The president needs to realize this is a significant problem and quickly nominate qualified nominees for these key positions,” Mr. Reed said.

Mr. Norquist has served as the deputy defense secretary since January 1 when Patrick Shanahan filled the top spot upon former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ resignation. Prior to joining the Pentagon, Mr. Norquist served as the chief financial officer for the Department of Homeland Security, spent five years as professional staff for the House Appropriations Committee and was a partner at an accounting firm.

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