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    23rd Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, left, inspects the troop at Conmy Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, during a full honor arrival ceremony in his honor. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    Republicans Hope to Confirm Esper as New US Defence Chief Before August Recess - McConnell

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Republican majority in the US Senate will seek to confirm Acting Secretary of Defence Mark Esper permanently in his position before recessing for the August summer break, Senate Majority Leader Mike McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.

    “We really need a confirmed secretary of defence at the earliest possible time,” McConnell said. “I am hopeful and optimistic we'll be able to do that before the August recess … I do think there's enough time to do it.”

    President Donald Trump nominated Esper, previously his secretary of the Army, to be the next defence secretary in June after his previous choice, acting defence secretary Patrick Shanahan, withdrew from consideration following accusations of domestic abuse.

    Esper, 55, previously worked as a vice president for government relations at the Raytheon Company and is an Army, Defence Department, and Capitol Hill veteran who served in the Gulf War.


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