Ayotte Puts Hold On Air Force Nominee

Sep 27, 2013

Senator Kelly Ayotte’s hold on the nomination of Deborah Lee James as Air Force Secretary won’t be lifted until she gets what a spokesperson called  “a substantive response” about the future of the A-10 aircraft, a plane her husband flew in combat in Iraq.

The A-10 fleet may face reduction or elimination due to budget cuts.

Ayotte publicly raised her concerns with the President’s pick to lead the Air Force during a confirmation hearing.

At that time Deborah Lee James said she was unaware any decision had been made about the A-10, which is used attack tanks, armored vehicles and ground targets, but added that it was her belief that everything was on the table.

In a statement Ayotte’s spokesperson Liz Johnson said Senator Ayotte want getting the answers she requested from the Air Force about whether it intends to “prematurely eliminate” the A-10, also known as the Warthog, before there is a replacement ready. 

Ayotte's husband, Joe Daley, is a retired National Guard pilot.