Grassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees
No. 3 Senate Dem to oppose Trump's Army secretary nominee
The third-ranking Senate Democrat is coming out against President Trump's embattled Army secretary nominee Mark Green.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Thursday announced that she would vote against Green, whose nomination is said to be in serious jeopardy following backlash over his controversial comments on gay marriage, transgender rights, evolution and Islam.
"The men and women who sign up to serve our country deserve a leader who instills a culture of integrity and respect for all of our servicemembers, regardless of their religion, race, sexual orientation or gender identity," Murray, the assistant minority leader, said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, on multiple occasions, Dr. Mark Green has demonstrated he is not that leader," she continued. "I will oppose his nomination, and I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to do the same."
Murray is currently the leading sponsor on a measure that seeks to cover sexual orientation and gender identity under federal non-discrimination protection laws.
Murray isn't the first Senate Democrat to publicly oppose Green, a Tennessee state senator. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.), both of whom sit on the committee that must give initial approval, have vowed to vote against him.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has also come out against Green, calling the nominee's views "intolerant, extreme and deeply disturbing."
Green could also face scrutiny from Republicans, as well. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday told USA Today that Green's past comments about LGBT issues and Muslims are "very concerning."
"We are getting some questions from both Republicans and Democrats on the Armed Services Committee," he said. "I think there are some issues that clearly need to be cleared up."
Green is Trump's second pick for Army secretary. His first nominee, billionaire Vincent Viola, withdrew his name from consideration in February amid troubles divesting from financial holdings.