Senate votes to confirm Mark Esper as defense secretary

Panel said last week it would expedite process

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Mark Esper

(CNN) - The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to confirm former lobbyist Mark Esper as secretary of defense, according to various media outlets. 

The Senate vote of 90-8.

Esper formally stepped down from his role as acting defense secretary Monday after the Senate received his nomination from the White House to be confirmed for the permanent position.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has assumed the acting role, making him President Donald Trump's third acting defense secretary this year. He was to serve in that job until Esper's Senate confirmation. 

The Senate Armed Services Committee announced last week that it would expedite the process to hold a confirmation hearing despite only receiving Esper's formal nomination from the White House on Monday.

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