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Senate Proceeding on Feb 4th, 2010 :: 1:51:20 to 2:02:15
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Carl Levin

1:51:18 to 1:51:38( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: my colleagues to do the same. mr. president, i yield th floor. i thank the chaimple chair. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: i thank the

Carl Levin

1:51:20 to 2:02:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Carl Levin

Carl Levin

1:51:39 to 1:51:59( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: presiding officer. mr. president, i just want to take a few minutes to express my frustration and myismay at the roadblocks which have been placed in the way of senate nominations for key positions in

Carl Levin

1:52:00 to 1:52:21( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the dment department of defense. the 0 obstruction takes place -- these obstructions -- there's five of them -- at a time when these nominees are critically need by the department of defense. we are a nation at war. our national security interests require us to end these

Carl Levin

1:52:22 to 1:52:44( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: obstruction tactics and immediately fill these five positions with highly qualified patriots. each of these nominees has been favorably reported by the senate -- -- excuse me, to the senate by the committee on armed services.

Carl Levin

1:52:45 to 1:53:05( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: they've responded to extensive advanced policy questions and nobody has informed me of any concern about the qualifications of any one of these five nominees, and yet there's an objection here on the floor of the senate every time these nominations are considered for confirmation. if any senator has a concern

Carl Levin

1:53:06 to 1:53:28( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: about any of these five defense department nominees, i wish they would let me know about that concern so we can address those concerns. we've heard from nobody. we have a unanimous approval by the armed services committee of five defense department nominees. they've been signature on our calendar since -- they've been sitting on our calendarince december 2, over two months, while these positions go unfilled and we're in the middle

Carl Levin

1:53:29 to 1:53:49( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: of two wars. now, one of these nominees is retired marine general clifford stanly. he was nominated to be under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. this position is critically important. it's responsible for our military rea it's responsible for our total

Carl Levin

1:53:50 to 1:54:11( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: force management. it's responsible for military and civilian personnel requirements that they be filled. this position is responsible for pay and benefits. let me repeat this. the p and benefits of our military personnel are the responsibility of the person who's been nominated for this

Carl Levin

1:54:12 to 1:54:32( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: position, and he's been sitting, waiting for confirmation for two months. now, what kind of a message is this to the men and women who put on the uniform of this country? military and civilian personnel training is the responsibility of this office. military and civilian family

Carl Levin

1:54:33 to 1:54:53( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: matters, exchange, commissary, nonappropriate personnel requirements for weapons support, national guard and reserve personnel matters, health care for the military and their families. general stanley was the first african-american regimental

Carl Levin

1:54:54 to 1:55:15( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: commander in the marine complete he has served with honor and distinction. he is now retired. we are lucky that we could get someone like general stanley to fill this position, to come back into public service and fill this position. and yet there's a hold on his whom nation since december the 2nd.

Carl Levin

1:55:16 to 1:55:36( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs have both made personal appeals to me and to other members, including i think the leadership of this body. to confirm general stanley so he can perform those essential duties which i've outlined. his nomination again was unanimously supported by our committee and our distinguished

Carl Levin

1:55:37 to 1:55:57( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: presiding officer is a wonderful member of our committee. it's -- no one, again, has brought any problem with this nomination to my attention. no one has said he's not qualified. i think there'ser unanimous consensus that he's extraordinarily well-qualified.

Carl Levin

1:55:58 to 1:56:18( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: so while we've got service members who have volunteered to serve and their families under great stress, they're fighting for our interests in two wars. we've got a critically important person who's awaiting confirmation for a position which affects every one of their

Carl Levin

1:56:19 to 1:56:40( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: lives. it's unconscionable that these roadblocks are placed in the way of these nominees. another critical nomination is that of frank kendall iii. the individual confirmed to this position is responsible for assisting the under secretary of

Carl Levin

1:56:41 to 1:57:01( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: defense for acquisition technology and logistics and supervising the department's acquisition, establishing policies for acquisition including the procurement of goods and services, research and development, developmental testing, and contract administration. we got all these problems with contracts, with testing, with

Carl Levin

1:57:02 to 1:57:22( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: development, with cost overruns. we've reformed our law now so that we've got much better acquisition rules in place to try to see if we can't get rid of some of these cost overruns, and so we've got a nominee to fill the position of deputy under secretary of defense for

Carl Levin

1:57:23 to 1:57:44( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: acquisition of technology and our friends on the other side of the aisle -- someone over there -- has got a hold on his nomination, i know for no reason reemented to his qualification. -- i know for no reason related to his qualification.

Carl Levin

1:57:45 to 1:58:06( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: there's been no issue with regard to any of the five nominees. so again we've got a critical position, as i indicated, again particularly when we have acquisition reform, which we've just adopted. it is so essential to control the costs of our national defense. and mr. kendall's nomination, like general stanley's

Carl Levin

1:58:07 to 1:58:27( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: nomination, has been before the senate since december 2, over two months. another nominations that of erin conaton. we all know her. nobo raised an issue about her.

Carl Levin

1:58:28 to 1:58:49( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: we are a lucky to have her. and yet there's a hold on the other side of the aisle for some unspecified reason, nothing to do with her, but here she is in a position which is so important to the air force. she is, if designated by the secretary, going to be the under secretary of the air force

Carl Levin

1:58:50 to 1:59:10( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: serving as the executive ealings agency for space. she is not only the chief management officer of the averse air force -- we have pea got all these problems, and our presiding officer knows about the problems of auditing, knows about the management and business problems that we have in our defense units. he knows it from experience here in the senate.

Carl Levin

1:59:11 to 1:59:32( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: knows it from his own personal life experience how important this is and we can't get the woman who probably is as knowledgeable about this subject as anyone, based on all of her years over at the armed services committee, we can't get her off the senate calendar.

Carl Levin

1:59:33 to 1:59:55( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: terry yonkers. this assistant secretary is responsible for the overall supervision of all matters related to air force installations, environment and logistics, including planning, acquisition, sustainment and disposal of air force real property and natural resources, environmental program compliance energy management, safety and occupational health of air force personnel.

Carl Levin

1:59:56 to 2:00:17( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: these are important, vital positions to the well-being of our men andomen in uniform. it is unconscionable that one or more people on the ear side of the aisle -- on the other side of the aisle continue to put holds on these nominations. we can't find out any problem -- because there is none -- with their qualifications.

Carl Levin

2:00:18 to 2:00:38( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: it's just endless holds. endless filibuster threats, endless roadblocks to stop these and so many other nominations. these are defense department nominations in the middle of two wars, and these roadblocks have got to be removed. i hope we'll take up these nominations, all five of them immediately. we have service members willing

Carl Levin

2:00:39 to 2:01:00( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: to risk their lives in defense of the nation, the least we can do as a senate is to confirm nominees to the critical positions to lead the department of defense. again, finally -- and i know my great friend from illinois who's sitting three feet away from me has made the same suggestion

Carl Levin

2:01:01 to 2:01:21( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: that she's pressed so hard to get these roadblocks removed -- if anybody has a problem with these nominees, would they please come to the floor and tell us. they can tell us, hopefully publicly, but they can tell us privately. we've heard nothing. these nominees, all five of them

Carl Levin

2:01:22 to 2:01:42( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: were unanimously approved. we don't know of any problem. we know their qualifications and they're extraordinary in every one of their cases. this filibustering that is' going on around here and the threat of filibustering and the constant roadblocks that are thrown up in front of these nominees are really unconscionable.

Carl Levin

2:01:43 to 2:02:03( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: they go beyond anything i've ever seen around here in 32 years. we all know there's people who object to nominees, hopefully, usually because they have a objection against something the nominee has done or said n. this case there's nothing like that. this is some unrelated matter apparently which has caused somebody to say we're going to hold them hostage while they try

Carl Levin

2:02:04 to 2:02:15( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: to extract some concession out of somebody. we just simply, it seems to me, as a body have got to find a way where we can get our nominations back on to a reasonably decent

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