Washington, D.C. – The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee asked the Department of Defense on Nov. 21 not to issue any midnight regulations before the transfer of power from the Obama to Trump Administration.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) urged Defense Secretary Ash Carter to suspend the development and implementation of any new rules and regulations, especially those related to personnel.
“Military personnel policy will continue to be a priority for the defense committees during the next Congress, building on the landmark reforms that have begun over the past two years,” the letter said. “Until that time, please refrain from making and further implementing any major policy changes through executive action.”
Other potentially controversial rules could include those related to military personnel ratings, standards, uniforms, and job titles, the letter added.
The letter comes as the Trump transition team continues to float names for the Secretaries of Defense and State. He recently announced his pick for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
The Defense Department pushed back, however, telling the Pentagon press corps that Secretary Carter would continue to fulfill his responsibilities until the end of the president’s term, including as they related to hiring and firing.
“Of course we’ll work in collaboration with Congress, as the Secretary always does,” Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook told reporters. “The Secretary will continue to carry out his obligations as required.”
The Defense Department has continued to issue only minor rules and regulatory clarifications since the election, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act.
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