Senate delay means Geren still Army chief

Aug. 8, 2009 at 6:28 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Because the U.S. Senate adjourned without confirming his successor, Peter Geren will be the Army secretary until he is formally replaced, the Pentagon said.

The Senate began its August recess Friday without confirming Rep. John M. McHugh, R-N.Y., as the secretary of the Army, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said during a briefing Friday. September would be the earliest a vote could be taken.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates was "deeply disappointed" the Senate did not take up the confirmation of the Army secretary and undersecretary, Morrell said.

In the interim, Geren will serve as Army secretary because it's "too important a job to be left vacant or manned in an acting capacity while we've got tens of thousands of soldiers in combat," Morrell said.

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