Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Senate confirmed Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense:
“I am pleased that Leon Panetta was confirmed by the Senate today as our next Secretary of Defense. Over the years, I’ve worked closely with Secretary Panetta as he has filled a wide range of important positions: chairman of the House Budget Committee, Office of Management and Budget director, White House chief of staff, and director of the Central Intelligence Agency. At every step, Secretary Panetta has impressed me, and all who have known him, with his integrity, his insight, and his spirit of public service. I know that he will bring those assets to the Pentagon, along with his wide experience on budget issues—which is especially important at a time when all of our nation’s spending, including defense spending, must come under close scrutiny for savings. I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Panetta.
“I also want to take this opportunity to honor outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Secretary Gates has left a lasting model of serious, thoughtful service, under Republican and Democratic presidents alike. I have no doubt that future Defense Secretaries will look to that model for years to come.”