Gaetz Urges Congressional Hearing After DoD Failed to Announce Defense Secretary's Hospitalization

Gaetz Urges Congressional Hearing After DoD Failed to Announce Defense Secretary's Hospitalization

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
January 8, 2024

Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has urged the House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rodgers (R-AL) to initiate a congressional hearing regarding the lack of transparency from the Department of Defense (DoD).

According to the Associated Press (AP), Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin underwent a medical procedure on Dec. 22 but was admitted to intensive care on Jan. 1 after “experiencing severe pain.”

Additionally, the National Security Council and Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks were not notified that Austin had been hospitalized until Jan. 4. Hicks was on Vacation in Puerto Rico at the time.

Rep. Gaetz blasted the DoD for its failure to communicate.

“The Secretary of Defense serves as the linchpin through which the President commands and controls our armed forces,” said Rep. Gaetz. “The DoD’s failure to inform the White House, Congress, and the American People of Secretary Austin’s incapacitation reflects the lack of leadership, competency, and transparency throughout the entire Biden administration.

He continued, mentioning that a congressional hearing would be necessary, especially after the White House announced that the DoD would receive no consequences.

“The White House has already signaled that Secretary Austin will face no consequences as a result of this scandal. Therefore, Chairman Mike Rogers and the House Armed Services Committee should immediately hold a hearing and receive testimony from Secretary Lloyd Austin and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks regarding Austin’s absence and Hicks' failure to return from vacation to [perform] her duties,” said Congressman Gaetz.

In December, Gaetz “rose in regret” to vote against the yearly National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2024 fiscal year (FY24).

He cited several of the bill’s provisions including the extension of FISA surveillance, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at the Pentagon, and similar "woke" policies across the military.

"Only in Washington must we bring a bill to the floor so that we are able to militarily confront China while at the same time embracing the policies that make the United States more like China," Rep. Gaetz said on the floor, referencing the scandal of a shocking 278,000 abuses of FISA surveillance warrants.

Gaetz concluded by saying “There is good in the bill,” but not enough to warrant an affirmative vote.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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