Why Won’t the Senate Let Joe Heck Become a General?

Posted September 3, 2013 at 9:36am

When the Senate left town for the August recess, senators confirmed nominees for an assortment of posts ranging from Amtrak board member to ambassador to the Vatican. But one member of Congress’ military promotion was left in limbo, write Niels Lesniewski and Megan Scully in Roll Call.

Army Reserve Col. Joe Heck is up for what appears to be a routine promotion to be a brigadier general. But no seems to be able to say why Heck, who is known on the House floor as “the gentleman from Nevada,” has been stopped in his tracks.

The GOP congressman’s nomination is apparently being held up by something or someone, given that it has been languishing on the Senate calendar since May. The reasons for the delay could involve the constitutionality of promoting a lawmaker to the rank of general, or they could simply be related to Pentagon policy. Then there’s the question of whether a member of Congress should also serve as a general overseeing all Army Reserve field medical units on the East Coast.