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SECAF nomination headed to full Senate for vote

Deborah Lee James, nominee for secretary of the Air Force, pledged, if confirmed, to instill more confidence in sexual assault victims to report the crimes committed against them. (Mike Morones/Staff)

Deborah Lee James is a step closer to becoming the next Air Force secretary.

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted in favor of her nomination on Tuesday morning, a congressional staffer said.  None of the senators objected to her nomination, which now must be voted on by the full Senate.

If confirmed, James would replace Michael Donley, who retired as Air Force secretary in June. Eric Fanning has served as acting secretary since.

At her Sept. 19 confirmation hearing, James told lawmakers that to the best of her knowledge, the Air Force has not decided whether to get rid of the A-10 in order to save money.

She also said she believes commanders should be evaluated on how well they deal with sexual assaults when they come before promotion boards.

“Command is an honor and a privilege in this country, it’s not an entitlement, and those who do not live up to our values simply need to be removed from that command,” she said.

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