On Thursday the Senate Armed Services Committee approved by voice vote the nomination of Eric Fanning to be Secretary of the Army. Fanning’s nomination will now move to the full Senate for consideration.
Fanning would be the first openly LGBT person to be appointed and confirmed to lead one of the American armed service branches. He has previously served as the Undersecretary of the Army and Undersecretary of the Air Force, and has been the Acting Secretary of both the Army and Air Force.
Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas has placed a hold on Fanning’s nomination, so it is unlikely to be brought to a vote any time soon. Roberts has told the press that the hold has nothing to do with Fanning’s readiness for the job, but that the hold will remain in place until President Obama promises that detainees from Guantanamo Bay will not be transferred to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.