Report: Susan Rice foe McCain to join Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has confirmed to Foreign Policy's blog The Cable that he will be joining the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next year while retaining his spot on the Armed Services panel.

A spokesman for McCain however told The Hill that no final decision has been made yet.

"Senator McCain has expressed interest in joining the Senate Foreign Relations Committee," the spokesman said, "but no final decisions on committee assignments have been made."

The move would allow McCain to retain some of his influence after losing the top spot on the Armed Services panel because of term limits. The 2008 presidential candidate is leading the charge on Capitol Hill to derail Susan Rice's potential nomination to be secretary of State, and a seat on the Foreign Relations committee will give him considerable power to grill the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations not only on the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, but on her record as the top State Department official for Africa under former President Clinton as well.

“I have some concerns about what happened in Africa under her watch,” McCain told The Cable on the sidelines of a security conference in Bahrain. “All that has not been examined.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has also raised concerns with Rice's tenure as the assistant secretary of State for Africa more than a decade ago, indicating that Republican opposition to her is hardening. 

McCain said he would not challenge Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who was just elected to a second term, for the top Republican spot on the committee despite his seniority in the Senate. CQ Roll Call first reported last week that McCain was mulling the move.