January 11, 2024

Ricketts on Defense Department’s Lack of Transparency: “There Must Be Consequences for this Stunning Incompetence”

January 10, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday on the Senate Floor, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) condemned the Defense Department’s failure to notify President Joe Biden or Congress for days about Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s hospitalization due to complications from surgery. Ricketts wished Austin a speedy recovery from the infection and a successful battle against prostate cancer, but was critical of the Department’s failure to follow the law regarding notification.

“The Secretary of Defense was in the hospital, the Deputy Secretary was on vacation in Puerto Rico, and no one thinks to tell the president? Are you kidding me?” said Ricketts.

Ricketts outlined actions the U.S. military took while Austin was in the hospital including, a drone strike in Baghdad, returning fire against Houthi rebels, and the consideration of other military action in the Middle East.

“The fact that the Department did not inform Congress or the President, in contradiction to the law, is unacceptable and put Americans at risk,” Ricketts continued. “This shocking lack of transparency was more than just bad judgment. It was utter incompetence. This has quickly become a feature not a bug of the Biden administration and how they run government.”

Ricketts called for a full investigation into how this transparency failure could be allowed to happen.

“There must be consequences for this stunning incompetence. Americans deserve answers. Congress deserves answers,” Ricketts said to close.

Watch the video HERE.