Patrick Shanahan was officially nominated for Secretary of Defense last week, after serving in an acting role since January. While the nomination was a long time coming, it’s not a done deal. Anthony Capaccio, defense reporter at Bloomberg, says that Shanahan was the only viable choice for the role, but he should expect new lines of questioning from the Senate.
“He was the last man standing. There were no viable candidates, and that IG report was a slam dunk of vindication… It gives him a lot of top cover and insulates him from a lot of partisan criticism. He will be grilled more heavily now on his policy knowledge gained over 22 months to see how much he’s absorbed,” Capaccio said. “For one thing, they’re going to want to grill him a little bit more on whether the recusal process that has been set up is going to insulate him or handcuff him from being an effective manager. Sen. Jack Reed in a statement after the IG report came out signaled that will be a line of questioning. How much can he do with the recusal process that has been set up?”