The Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday approved President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as the Navy’s top civilian, paving the way for a vote on the Senate floor.
The panel approved Carlos Del Toro, a former surface warfare officer, via a voice vote, the committee said on Tuesday.
Del Toro appeared before the panel earlier this month as part of his confirmation process to serve as Navy secretary. During his hearing, the former destroyer commander confirmed his commitment to the Pentagon’s focus on the Indo-Pacific region and the Navy’s investment in unmanned systems.
“I believe that as our nation shifts from a land-based strategy over the past 20 years fighting the wars in the Middle East to a more dominant maritime strategy in the Pacific – particularly in our efforts to deter China – I do believe that our Navy-Marine Corps team will need additional resources to be able to fully field the combat effectiveness we will need as a nation to do so,” Del Toro told lawmakers. “And I am committed – in fact that it’s my responsibility – to make that case to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the administration moving forward in the Fiscal Year 23 budget, if confirmed.”
Should the upper chamber confirm Del Toro to the position, he will become the second Hispanic Navy secretary following Edward Hidalgo during the Jimmy Carter administration.