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Senate panel approves Trump nominees for top Pentagon posts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Help is on the way for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday approved the nominations of six people selected by President Donald Trump for senior positions at the Pentagon.

Lawmakers have lamented the Trump administration’s slow pace for filling key posts. The Senate confirmed Mattis in January, yet dozens of slots remain unfilled at a federal agency with a $611 billion budget. Only one of three service secretaries has been confirmed.

The nominations approved by the committee now head to the full Senate for confirmation votes. They include David Norquist to be comptroller and Elaine McCusker to be deputy comptroller; Kari Bingen to be principal deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence; and Robert Karem to be assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.

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