Defense nominee Mark Esper calls on Congress to provide ‘necessary resources’ to stand up Space Force16 Jul 2019, 21:45 UTC
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s pick for defense secretary Mark Esper told the Senate Armed Services Committee that, if confirmed, he intends to get involved in the Space Force legislative debate.
Esper testified in front the committee on Tuesday in his confirmation hearing. If the full Senate approves him, perhaps as early as next week, Esper would be taking over as Pentagon chief as the House and Senate prepare for a contentious conference where they will negotiate the final language for the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
Appearing before the SASC less than 24 hours after the White House sent the official nomination to the Senate, Esper mostly breezed through the hearing. The only tense moment came when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) grilled Esper for his ties to top defense contractor Raytheon and for his decision to not recuse himself from all matters affecting the company.
Esper’s remarks on the space reorganization ame near the end of the hearing when Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) asked him to comment on the congressional language in the House and Senate versions of the NDAA to establish a space service.
Esper said he “obviously supports the budget proposal we put forward” but did not endorse ...