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Shaheen Statement on Senate Approval of Mark Esper to Serve as Secretary of Defense

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after voting to approve Mark Esper to serve as Secretary of Defense. Esper is currently Secretary of the Army.

“I am greatly concerned about the lack of stable leadership at the Department of Defense and the message it sends to our adversaries,” said Shaheen. “I believe it is imperative that there be a steady hand at the Department to lead our men and women in uniform and address the many troubling threats to national security around the globe. As Secretary of Defense, it will be critical that Secretary Esper deliver hard truths to the Commander in Chief, and resist political interference in the Department’s policies and missions.  

“I appreciated Esper’s leadership as Secretary of the Army, in particular his help to establish a memorial for the USS Thresher at Arlington National Cemetery and deliver a long-awaited Purple Heart to Francis Byrne, a World War II hero who was nearing the end of his life. I’m also grateful for his commitment to me during his confirmation hearing to more proactively address PFAS contamination at military installations which is of great concern to military families and surrounding communities. I look forward to our continued work together on issues important to Granite Staters and the defense of our nation, including defending the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s indispensable role in our national security.”