The Senate overwhelmingly voted Thursday to confirm Ash Carter as the next U.S. Secretary of Defense, succeeding Chuck Hagel. Read More
Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday stressed to the senior American officer in Afghanistan that the administration must understand “wars do not end just because politicians say so” and that he needs to have the option to adjust the withdrawal timetable of coalition forces to retain the progress made over the past 13 years against al Qaeda and the Taliban. Read More
Jo Ann Rooney — the Obama administration’s nominee for Under Secretary of the Navy — faced tough questions during her Thursday confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC).
Rooney first faced stiff questioning from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., over the status of Navy audits, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program and exactly how many employees and contractors the department employed. At one point, McCain said, “If you don’t know the answer [about the audits], you are not qualified for the job yet.” Read More
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) remembers Medal of Honor recipient and retired Air Force colonel, George “Bud” Day.
McCain and Day were cellmates at the notorious Hanoi Hilton prisoner of war camp in northern Vietnam.
Day died on Saturday in Shalimar, Fla. He was 88. Read More
Last week Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlined American military options in Syria, in response to a threatened hold on his reconfirmation by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and a letter signed by McCain and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.). Both senators are proponents of American intervention in Syria, and both are frustrated by what they believe is the administration’s slow and limited decision to intervene in Syria’s conflict. The traditions of American civil-military relations make uniformed discussions of military options in politically charged issues—especially in a public forum—a delicate issue. Nevertheless, in order to secure a second term as JCS chairman, and in response to a formal request, Dempsey presented an unclassified assessment of five options for American military involvement in Syria. Read More
The Obama administration has selected a renewable energy advocate and retired admiral to be the Navy’s new energy chief, according to an announcement from the White House.
Retired Vice Adm. Dennis V. McGinn — former president and chief executive of the American Council of Renewable Energy — has been nominated to be the Navy’s assistant secretary for energy, installations, and environment. Read More
In the wake of the public uprising that deposed former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) — senior members on the Senate Armed Services Committee — have called on the Obama administration to suspend $1.5 billion in military aid to Egypt.
“We ought to suspend aid until the new government shows that it is willing to — and in fact does — schedule elections and put in place a process to come up with a new constitution,” Levin said Monday. Read More
Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.), a leading critic of the Obama administration’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Defense, said on nominee Chuck Hagel will likely see a vote on nomination this week. Read More
It’s been a little more than six months since two prominent Senate Armed Services Committee Republicans took aim at efforts underway within the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a national biofuels market. During the Committee’s May, 24th mark-up of this year’s defense authorization bill, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and the panel’s Ranking Member, John McCain (R-AZ), pushed through separate amendments that would have ended the Department’s pursuit of advanced renewable fuels.
The bill reported out of Committee included Inhofe’s amendment that prohibits the Pentagon from buying alternative fuels if their up-front cost is higher than that of traditional fossil fuels. Language added by McCain and backed by Inhofe banned the DoD from building or retooling refineries to produce biofuels. But in the last two weeks, talks on the energy issue intensified, sparked by a letter to Senate leadership signed by 38 members. The topic of biofuels emerged as a key sticking point, Senate aides said.
The November, 16th letter led by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and joined by 35 other Democrats, Independent Joe Lieberman (CT) and Republican Susan Collins (ME) called the Inhofe and McCain provisions “harmful and counterproductive” and expressed strong support for “the ability of military leaders to develop and employ alternative fuels.”