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.