Hawley says he'll hold up State and Defense Department nominees unless Blinken and Austin resign

September 14, 2021 at 23:50

Washington (CNN) Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said Tuesday that he will place a hold on "every single civilian nominee" for the State and Defense Departments unless Secretary Antony Blinken and Secretary Lloyd Austin resign from their posts, citing their roles in overseeing the US' chaotic exit from Afghanistan.
The Missouri Republican told CNN that his holds will apply to any civilian nominee at the deputy and secretary levels, as well as ambassadors.
The move would force Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to take time-consuming procedural steps required to advance many uncontroversial nominees.
And with scant floor time, it could be enough to indefinitely delay any number of nominees who normally would be quickly confirmed by voice vote.
Speaking earlier Tuesday on the Senate floor, Hawley demanded President Joe Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, also resign, arguing that "the failure of these individuals, the failure of this administration, has cost Americans their lives and has left American civilians to the enemy."
"There must be accountability and then there must be a new start," he said.
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