The Senate on Thursday confirmed President Barack Obama's choice to run the Pentagon, handing Ash Carter the unenviable task of steering the military as the United States confronts Islamic State militants, conflict in Ukraine and other worldwide threats.
The vote in the Republican-controlled Senate was 93-5. Carter will replace Chuck Hagel, the former Republican senator who had a rough relationship with Obama's insular group of national security advisers.
“Ash Carter served as a key leader of our national security team in the first years of my presidency, and with his overwhelming bipartisan confirmation by the Senate today, I’m proud to welcome him back as our next Secretary of Defense,” the White House said in a statement on Thursday. “With his decades of experience, Ash will help keep our military strong as we continue the fight against terrorist networks, modernize our alliances, and invest in new capabilities to keep our armed forces prepared for long-term threats.
“As secretary of defense, Ash will play a central role in our work with Congress to find a more responsible approach to defense spending that makes the department more efficient, preserves military readiness, and keeps faith with our men and women in uniform and their families. We have the strongest military in history of the world, and with Secretary Carter at the Pentagon and our troops serving bravely around the world, we’re going to keep it that way.”
Only five Republicans opposed his confirmation:
Voting against him were five Republicans senators: Roy Blunt (Mo.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Mark Kirk (Ill.), James E. Risch (Idaho) and John Boozman (Ark.).