Rep. Melvin Watt is not the only sitting House member facing Senate confirmation in the weeks ahead — there’s also the curious case of Republican Rep. Joe Heck of Nevada.
Watt, a North Carolina Democrat, is President Barack Obama’s choice to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency that oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Watt would resign his seat in the House to take on the new job,with a crowded field of Democrats likely to seek the seat.
None of that is true in Heck’s case.
As the Army Times reported Thursday afternoon, Heck is up for a promotion to brigadier general in the Army Reserve, a matter that must be reviewed by the Senate Armed Services Committee before moving on to full Senate consideration.
Heck’s name is one of 19 that appears on a list of Army reservists for elevation to major general or brigadier general, known formally as PN395-113. The Senate received the nominations on Monday.
The Armed Services panel processes thousands of military nominations, often finding a moment during an unrelated hearing where a quorum of senators is present and approving the deluge of nominees without much, if any discussion. The nominees are then confirmed on the floor by unanimous consent at the request of Majority Leader Harry Reid, D- Nev., or his designee without any debate, often just before the Senate departs for recess.
There are rare instances in which a senator might hold up a particular nominee, such as in the case of an Air Force general who raised the ire of Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. But there’s no indication that Heck will have any problems advancing his military career.
However, in this case, perhaps Reid will pause to mention Heck’s nomination, since he is a fellow Nevadan.
Stacey Goers contributed to this report.