Christine Wormuth’s confirmation as Army secretary was approved unanimously by the Senate on Wednesday – only for the Senate to cancel her confirmation just hours later, in an unusual turn of events.
According to CSPAN footage of the proceedings, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced the reversal on Wednesday. He didn’t explain his decision right away.
“I ask unanimous consent that the Senate void the previous action on Executive Calendar 135,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.
The Democrat deleted a tweet in which he praised Wormuth’s confirmation.
Wormuth was nominated by President Biden last month and would have been the first woman to serve as Secretary of the Army if confirmed by the Senate.
According to Forbes reporter Andrew Solender, Schumer received unanimous consent to “vitiate,” or rescind, the confirmation.
Wormuth had called the confirmation an honor just hours before.
“I am overjoyed to have been confirmed as Secretary of the Army!” “It is a tremendous honor and responsibility to serve in this capacity!” she wrote on Twitter.
The move, according to Roll Call reporter Andrew Clevenger, “looks more like a procedural hiccup than a threat to her historic confirmation.”
Wormuth was in charge of Biden’s transition team at the Pentagon. During the Obama administration, she was the undersecretary of defense for policy and the senior director for defense policy at the National Security Council. Her most recent position was as director of the RAND Corp.’s International Security and Defense Policy Center, a federally funded think tank.
Former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who resigned in January, endorsed Wormuth this month, saying she possessed “the temperament, strategic thinking, and relationships that will enable the Army to be successful in the next decade.”
Her nomination was advanced by the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
According to the White House, Wormuth grew up in College Station, Texas, and attended Williams College in Massachusetts.