US Senate confirms Biden pick as top US military officer

The following are excerpts from a Reuters story originally published on 9/20/23 by Patricia Zengerle.

WASHINGTON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – A majority of the U.S. Senate backed U.S. Air Force chief General Charles Q. Brown on Wednesday to be the top U.S. military officer, as lawmakers moved to confirm some of the top senior officers whose promotions have been stalled by a Republican senator’s blockade.

The Senate backed President Joe Biden’s nomination of Brown to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by 83 to 11.

Brown is a former fighter pilot who brings command experience in the Pacific to the position at a time of rising tension with China.

He will be only the second Black officer to chair the Joint Chiefs after Colin Powell two decades ago.

The Senate moved ahead with votes on Brown and two other top military officers as Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, used a procedural maneuver to sidestep a blockade by Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin congratulated Brown on his confirmation, thanked Schumer for bringing the vote and chastised Tuberville for his obstruction. “It is well past time to confirm the over 300 other military nominees,” Austin said in a statement.