Press Releases

NEWS: House Democrats: Alarming Number of Vacancies in Key Positions Undermining Our National Security

Six Members of the House Armed Services Committee call on President Trump to fill crucial positions at State and Defense Departments

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Washington, April 27, 2017 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, six Democratic Members of the House Armed Services Committee wrote to President Trump urging him to take immediate action to identify and nominate qualified candidates to fill positions in his administration vital to the national security of the United States.
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Today, six Democratic Members of the House Armed Services Committee wrote to President Trump urging him to take immediate action to identify and nominate qualified candidates to fill positions in his administration vital to the national security of the United States.  At a time when our allies face the growing threat posed by North Korea, key ambassadorships in the Asia-Pacific remain vacant and senior roles at the Department of Defense, including posts devoted to Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction and Security Cooperation, are still open almost 100 days after the President’s inauguration.  

The full text of the letter can be found here.

The letter also comes as the New York Times is reporting today that “Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson has done almost nothing to select leaders for the White House’s consideration, and nominations for assistant secretaries and others who largely run the State Department are unlikely to be made for months.”

“As a former national security specialist at the Department of Defense, I know that personnel is policy,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07). “I’m concerned that the large number of vacancies in key national security positions throughout the Administration are making us less safe. In order to encounter growing threats and maximize opportunities around the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, this Administration needs to quickly nominate qualified people to fill these critical national security positions.”

“It’s frankly outrageous that nearly 100 days into his presidency, President Trump has barely lifted a finger to fill the jobs that arguably matter most in any administration – the positions charged with the diplomacy and defense of our nation,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07).  “The principal reason for this delay is clear: in selecting nominees, President Trump obviously values support for his campaign more than competence or experience.  At a time when America faces a mounting crisis in North Korea and renewed antagonism from Russia, I urge President Trump to move rapidly to fill these critical national security positions with qualified American leaders.”    

"The Trump administration’s failure to fill hundreds of positions with qualified officials throughout the Defense and State Departments jeopardizes not only our national security but our leadership in the world. Critical positions dealing with threats as critical as weapons of mass destruction remain unfilled - this is simply unacceptable now 100 days after inauguration. The Trump Administration is letting down our allies by not providing partners to work with on these critical issues, and handing our adversaries a gift through their disorganization and incompetence,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (MA-06).

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