The Senate has confirmed Martha Johnson to lead the General Services Administration, giving the agency its first permanent, Senate-approved leader in two years. The nomination passed in a 94 to 2 vote.
Obama first tapped Johnson, who served as GSA’s chief of staff from 1996 through 2001, to lead the agency in April 2009. After flying through the confirmation hearing in June, a full-Senate vote on her nomination was delayed by Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo.
Bond placed a hold on her nomination last summer because he wanted assurances that a $175 million plan to relocate tenants of the GSA-owned Bannister Federal Complex from suburban to downtown Kansas City, Mo. would still become a reality under the new administration.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed for cloture on her nomination last week following Pres. Obama’s thinly veiled State of the Union criticism of Bond for holding up a nomination to protect a “pet project.”
Obama again criticized Bond for the hold yesterday saying Bond held Johnson over a matter that had nothing to do with her abilities to lead the government’s procurement and real estate agency.
Prior to joining GSA in 1996, Johnson was the assistant deputy secretary for the Commerce Department. Since leaving government in 2001, she has held positions with key government contractors.
From 2002 through 2007, she was a vice president at SRA International. SRA received $1 billion in government business in fiscal 2008, according to USASpending.gov. In 2007, she joined Computer Sciences Corporation, where she served as a vice president. CSC has received $4.5 billion worth of government contracts in fiscal 2008, according to USASpending.gov.