nsucurrent.com May 23, 2018

Senate confirms Trump's pick for Air Force secretary

10 May 2017, 03:03 | Shelley Chandler

Senate confirms Heather Wilson as Trump's Air Force secretary

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate Leadership Fund on Monday May 8 reserved a $2.6 million television ad buy on behalf of U.S. Sen. Luther Stra

Heather Wilson, President Donald Trump's pick for secretary of the Air Force, was confirmed by the Senate Monday with 76 votes in favor and 22 against.

Heather Wilson was confirmed as the new Secretary of the Air Force by the Senate on Monday.

A decade later, in 1998, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from New Mexico's 1st district and served there until 2009.

Senate Republicans including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (AZ) and Orrin Hatch (UT) praised Wilson in the hours leading up to the vote.

Even after the completion of Trump's 100 days in office, dozens of national security positions remain unfilled, with some still occupied by former President Barack Obama's holdovers or civil servants on an acting basis. Wilson said she did nothing improper. "I look forward to working with her again to support Holloman, Kirtland, and Cannon Air Force Bases, and the health of the Air Force nationally".

Trump's pick for secretary of the Army, Mark Green, was forced to withdraw his name from consideration Friday following the controversy surrounding his past remarks on LGBT issues, Islam and evolution.

Wilson, 56, has been president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology since 2013.

However, Wilson dismissed questions about these payments during her senate confirmation hearing and said she had completed the work and the inspector general had found no questionable dealings with her work.

She is one the the first female graduates of the Air Force Academy and a retired Air Force captain. During her Senate confirmation hearing in March, some Democratic senators - including Armed Services Committee member Jack Reed of Rhode Island - questioned her vigorously about contracting work she did for Sandia National Laboratories after leaving Congress in 2009.

However, Sandia reimbursed the government for fees paid to the consulting company run by Wilson. Wilson denied any wrongdoing.

During the 1980s, Wilson served as an Air Force officer in Europe and was serving among the National Security Council staff under President George H.W. Bush during the fall of the Berlin Wall. Trump has not nominated another individual to be Navy Secretary.

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