The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 20-0 Thursday to approve the nomination of Defense Secretary-designate Dick Cheney, praised by the panel as having "high standards of personal conduct and integrity."
The vote came exactly one week after the Senate rejected the nomination of former Texas Sen. John Tower and handed President Bush a major defeat in his first high-stakes clash with Congress.Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, said the full Senate would take up the nomination on Friday, before the Senate begins a two-week recess. Easy confirmation was expected.
The committee took only about 10 minutes to discuss Cheney and vote. The panel's report said Cheney, Wyoming's Republican representative in the U.S. House, would "help restore public confidence in the integrity of defense management."
"We found nothing in the financial report, nothing in the FBI report, nothing in our questioning of him that would in any way interfere with his ability to be the nation's 17th secretary of defense," said committee chairman Sam Nunn, D-Ga. "Congressman Cheney is highly qualified."
Nunn said that despite the quick action, consideration has been thorough and complete. "We've had exactly the same procedure on this one as we've had on every other nomination since I've been chairman," he said. "I don't know of any deviation."