Former C-I-A chief Robert Gates goes before a Senate panel today (Tuesday) to begin confirmation hearings as President Bush’s pick for Secretary of Defense. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’ll likely vote “yes” for Gates when his nomination goes before the full Senate later this week.
Grassley expects swift confirmation. Grassley says “I think that he will do a good job. There’s no doubt that in several areas of defense, national security and intelligence, he’s got a good background.” Grassley, a Republican, says the 63-year-old Gates promises to bring new proposals and solutions for the United States’ biggest overseas military situation.
Grassley says “I hope he comes in with some ideas that can help us wind down and get out of Iraq and leave it as a democracy and self-defending.” He says Gates faces the Senate Armed Services Committee today (Tuesday) and should see his nomination the subject of a vote before week’s end.
Grassley says “By Friday, the leader, Frist, is hoping to have a vote and this may be the last week we’re in session this year.” Gates would replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, who resigned shortly after the November elections.