It has been more than a month since President Donald Trump announced on May 9 that he would nominate Patrick Shanahan to officially become defense secretary – and nothing has happened since.
A U.S. official told Task & Purpose that Shanahan has been so busy in the past few months – including traveling to several Asian countries recently – that he has only been able to complete all the paperwork required for his nomination in the past few days.
Shanahan has served as acting defense secretary since Jan. 1.
When NBC asked Trump on Tuesday why he had not yet submitted Shanahan’s nomination, the president responded he had “put it out officially” on May 9 and that Shanahan “has to go through the process.”
NBC News also reported that Trump is considering other potential candidates to lead the Pentagon, including Army Secretary Mark Esper.
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee told Military Times reporter Leo Shane that lawmakers should be able to confirm Shanahan’s nomination before August – provided the FBI background check and other requirements are completed in the near future.
“I would like to do it soon, because I’m the guy who has been yelling and screaming that we have to have this nomination confirmed,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told Military Times. “If you don’t have him confirmed, all these people he is dealing with don’t know if they are dealing with the right person. I have heard this personally.”