By Jeremy Herb - 08/02/13 01:26 AM EDT
The Senate confirmed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey to a second two-year term by voice vote on Thursday.
The Senate approved Dempsey’s nomination as part of a large package of nominations that were approved by voice vote before the Senate kicked off its month-long August recess.
The Senate also approved Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Adm. James Winnefeld and a host of other military nominations.
Dempsey’s confirmation quickly sailed through both the Senate Armed Services Committee and full Senate this week, but not before he faced some turbulence at the hands of Sen. John McCainJohn McCainClinton enjoying edge over Trump in Silicon Valley Five takeaways from Clinton, Trump finance reports Trump, Clinton running even in Missouri MORE (R-Ariz.).
After Dempsey declined to do so, saying that it was inappropriate while deliberations within the administration were ongoing, McCain threatened to place a hold on Dempsey’s confirmation.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl LevinCarl LevinSenate continues to disrespect Constitution, Obama and Supreme Court by not voting on Garland As other regulators move past implementing Dodd-Frank, the SEC falls further behind Will partisan politics infect the Supreme Court? MORE (D-Mich.) tried to smooth things over by requesting Dempsey submit an assessment of military options and their costs and benefits.
McCain dropped his threat to hold up the nomination when Dempsey did so, although McCain called the general’s assessment “beyond anything that any rational military thinker that I know would ever contemplate.”
In a statement after Dempsey was confirmed, McCain said that he continued to be "seriously concerned about the advice that our nation’s top military leaders have given the president and National Security Council regarding the most serious and time-sensitive crises in the world today."
“In my many years, I have seen a lot of military commanders overstate what is needed to conduct military action for one reason or another. But, regarding Syria, rarely have I seen an effort as disingenuous and exaggerated as what General Dempsey has proposed," McCain said in a statement.
“Without sound professional military judgment guiding our top decision-makers, Syria will become a failed state in the heart of the Middle East and a safe haven for Al-Qaeda and its allies and degrade into a regional conflict that threatens the national security interests of the United States and its allies."
When the committee cleared Dempsey’s nomination on Tuesday, McCain allowed it to pass through a voice vote, but McCain and two other Republican senators, Sens. Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE (Ga.) and Roy BluntRoy BluntTrump, Clinton running even in Missouri Top Republican presses Kerry for Iran 'ransom' details AFL-CIO urges GOP senators to 'renounce' Trump MORE (Mo.), voted against his confirmation, Defense News reported.