No Holds Barred

The Air Force hasn’t allayed the concern of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) yet regarding the future of the A-10 fleet, so the senator’s hold on Deborah James’ nomination to be the next Air Force Secretary remains in place for now, according to Ayotte’s office. “Senator Ayotte found some of the responses she received from the Air Force to be insufficient, and she now awaits answers to several follow-up questions she submitted,” her office told the Daily Report on Monday. Back on Sept. 27, three days after Ayotte placed the hold on the nomination, the Air Force sent Ayotte responses to the written questions the senator submitted upon learning the service is considering retiring the A-10 fleet in Fiscal 2015 as a cost-savings move. “Senator Ayotte’s central concern is that our troops have the close air support they need to accomplish their missions and return home safely,” said her office. Meanwhile, Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) on Oct. 1 lifted his separate hold on James’ nomination after the Air Force addressed his concern, notifying him that it would maintain the Operationally Responsive Space office through at least Fiscal 2014, according to a release from his office.