It’s not immediately clear why the Senate did an about-face on Wormuth. Spokespeople for Schumer and the Senate Armed Services Committee did not immediately comment on the move.
Wednesday’s late-night reversal notwithstanding, Wormuth has been deemed a shoo-in for the post by Republicans and Democrats alike.
A former Pentagon policy chief during the Obama administration, Wormuth led Biden’s transition team at the Defense Department after Kathleen Hicks bowed out to focus on her confirmation process to be deputy secretary.
Wormuth glided through her Senate Armed Services confirmation hearing this month, pledging to be a vocal advocate for fully funding the Army and to fight back against efforts to make the service a “billpayer” for the expensive priorities of the Air Force and Navy.
The Senate typically confirms large numbers of nominees before leaving for a major recess, including approving swaths of military promotions. Wormuth or other defense nominees could still be confirmed this week before the Senate leaves for its Memorial Day recess.
Wormuth is one of three civilian nominees approved by the Armed Services Committee awaiting confirmation by the full Senate, along with Mike McCord, picked to be the Pentagon comptroller, and Ronald Moultrie, nominated to be the Pentagon’s top civilian intelligence official.
The tranche of military nominees who were confirmed Wednesday — and stayed confirmed — included Gen. Paul LaCamera, who is set to take over command of U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula.