Monday, January 11, 2016

Openly Gay Acting Army Secretary Eric Fanning Will Step Aside Until Senate Confirmation

Openly gay Eric Fanning will temporarily "step aside" from his current post as Acting Army Secretary until his nomination as permanent Army Secretary is confirmed by the Senate.

From the News Observer:

The Army's No. 2-ranking civilian, Patrick Murphy, was confirmed as undersecretary last week, and will temporarily double as the acting Army secretary.

The Pentagon announced that Fanning was stepping down "as a show of comity" to Congress. Some members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have expressed concern that his continuing as the acting secretary would violate the Vacancies Act governing requirements for filling openings that require Senate confirmation.

Fanning had been serving as acting Army secretary since the previous holder of the office, John McHugh, stepped down late last fall.

President Barack Obama nominated Fanning in September to succeed McHugh.

If confirmed by the Senate, he would be the nation's first openly gay leader of a military service.

Fanning had been serving as acting undersecretary of the Army since June.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a written statement that Fanning agreed to step aside as acting secretary "to focus on achieving confirmation in the near future."

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