**Shaheen is a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after voting to confirm Lloyd Austin to serve as the Secretary of Defense. During his confirmation hearing earlier this week, Shaheen raised a number of top national security policies that she believes should be addressed under the Biden administration, as well as key priorities related to New Hampshire’s role in support of our national defense.
“With increasing threats from our adversaries like Russia and China, and precarious military situations left behind by the Trump administration in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the need for steadfast and skillful leadership has never been more urgent. After a careful evaluation of his military service, experience and commitment to bolstering civilian roles at the Department of Defense, I believe Lloyd Austin is the best person to lead the Pentagon and voted in support of his nomination,” said Shaheen. “I have full confidence that he will provide the guidance President Biden needs to make the most serious and difficult decisions regarding our national security and armed forces. I hope to have the opportunity to welcome Secretary Austin to New Hampshire to see for himself the important contributions our state makes in support of the United States’ national defense. As the Department of Defense under this new administration takes shape, I’ll continue to urge Secretary Austin to integrate and elevate women at the Pentagon and throughout our national security structures. I look forward to working with Secretary Austin and congratulate him on the historic achievement as the first African American person to serve in this capacity.”