Kathleen Hicks, President Biden’s pick to be deputy defense secretary, cruised through her confirmation hearing.
President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as the Pentagon No. 2 civilian said she is concerned by the consolidation of America’s weapons makers and suppliers, signaling that the Biden administration could increase U.S. government scrutiny over the merger and acquisition of major defense firms.
“Yes, I am concerned,” said Kathleen Hicks during her Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, when asked by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., about the shrinking number of submarine suppliers. “Some consolidation is probably inevitable [because] the Defense Department isn’t sized … in many areas to maintain a large base, but extreme consolidation does create challenges for innovation.”