The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Wednesday that the panel will vote Thursday on the nomination of Rep. Dick Cheney as defense secretary and said he expected unanimous support for President Bush's replacement for John Tower.
"I don't know of any opposition now," said Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., as he announced that the committee had completed its hearings on the nomination and would vote Thursday morning.The Georgia Democrat said he would vote for Cheney, saying he saw "no impediments" to confirmation of the nominee in an FBI background check, financial reports from the White House and Pentagon and medical records.
Nunn said the six-term Wyoming Republican congressman is "well-qualified" and called him a "man of integrity."
The second-ranking Democrat on the Armed Services panel, Sen. James Exon of Nebraska, said he saw "no problems whatsoever" to confirmation of Cheney. "I don't think there will be a vote against him," Exon said.
Nunn said he expected the committee to refer its recommendation to the full Senate by noon Thursday. Lawmakers have indicated that they wanted to wrap up the nomination by Friday, when the Senate breaks for a two-week recess.
Sen. John Warner of Virginia, ranking Republican on the committee, said it was "very important for national security interests" that the Senate act quickly on the nomination.
Warner added that he believes Cheney will be unanimously confirmed by the Senate.