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Air Force Secretary Vote to Move Forward as Hold Is Lifted

The U.S. Senate will vote on Heather Wilson, President Donald Trump's pick to be the next secretary of the Air Force, by early next week, a Senate official told Military.com on Wednesday.

The Senate Armed Services Committee on April 5 advanced Wilson's confirmation. But sometime in the following weeks, the official said, a senator put a hold on Wilson, with additional questions into her background in regard to a military base in the senator's state. The news was first reported by Defense News and Politico.

The hold -- which prevents a motion from reaching the Senate floor -- was lifted Wednesday morning, the official said.

Senators may put private holds on a nominee, but must alert their party leadership. Per protocol, the official would not name the senator, reportedly a Democrat.

"This should now be voted on relatively soon," the official said.

"There was one senator who had questions about a facility in her state, and so we are trying to work through that," Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, told Defense News on Tuesday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Wilson, a former congresswoman and Air Force Academy graduate, will be the first service secretary to serve in the Trump administration.

RELATED: Wilson Appears Headed for Confirmation as Air Force Secretary

The news comes as Trump's other service secretary nominees hang in limbo: Dr. Mark E. Green, a medical doctor, Tennessee state senator and decorated West Point graduate, has come under fire for past unfavorable comments about the LGBTQ community as well as Muslims. Sources told CNN Green may drop out as early as this week; Green has not publicly discussed the issue.

Trump's first Army secretary nominee, Vincent Viola, and Navy secretary nominee Philip Bilden in February withdrew from consideration, citing business and financial concerns.

Earlier this month, the Republican-majority Congress signaled better hopes for Wilson as a committee panel voted 22-5 to confirm her.

Wilson served as a Republican from New Mexico in the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2009.

She graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1982, part of the third class to include women.

She's currently the president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, a public institution of higher learning in Rapid City.

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