Foreign policy battle between McCain, Rand Paul to hit Senate committee

A battle in the Republican party over how deeply the U.S. should be involved overseas is expected to play out on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Lawmakers of different stripes will find themselves working side-by-side on the panel in the new Congress.

Two of the Senate panel’s incoming members — Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRomney forced into GOP primary for Utah Senate nomination Trump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees MORE (R-Ariz.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP senator: Democratic opposition to Pompeo 'driven 100 percent by politics' Pompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel CIA declassifies memo on nominee's handling of interrogation tapes MORE (R-Ky.) — embody the clash over America’s proper role in the world.

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“I think there are going to be some tensions within our party,” McCain presciently predicted in November 2010 after Paul's election. “I worry a lot about the rise of protectionism and isolationism in the Republican Party.”

Paul has bristled at that description – he’s said calling him an ‘isolationist’ “is about as accurate or appropriate as calling Senator McCain an ‘imperialist' ” – but has since proposed defense and foreign aid cuts that have infuriated McCain.

Paul may not be the only Republican target of McCain's well-documented ire.

While the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee has led the charge for a forceful U.S. intervention in Syria, his incoming counterpart on the Senate Foreign Relations panel has at times appeared even less eager than President Obama about getting drawn into a conflict that has left more than 60,000 people dead over the past 22 months.

“There is much discussion here about the U.S. arming the Free Syrian Army to deal with Syrian aircraft,” Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGOP senator: Democratic opposition to Pompeo 'driven 100 percent by politics' Corker: Charming North Korea into getting rid of nuclear weapons is not realistic GOP senator: Miscalculations with Russia 'could lead us to a very bad place' MORE (R-Tenn.), the ranking Republican on the panel, told reporters after returning from a trip to the Turkish border in September. “And while that may end up being the right course of action, their current loose alignment and lack of cohesiveness could make it a very problematic decision in the long run.”

Altogether, five out of the nine Republicans who served on the panel in the last Congress won't be returning, including Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), a long-time centrist Republican leader on foreign policy. Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senator: Congress needs ‘to move on’ from Russia probe GOP senator: ‘Way too early’ to talk about supporting Trump in 2020 IG report faults fired FBI official McCabe for leak to media MORE (R-Wis.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel Overnight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes Arizona GOP tinkers with election rules with an eye on McCain's seat MORE (R-Ariz.), another foreign aid foe, are joining the committee along with Paul and McCain.

Democrats are seeing less movement but will lose their chairman, Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryJohn Kerry’s memoir title revealed GOP senator: Democratic opposition to Pompeo 'driven 100 percent by politics' North Korea is moved by Pompeo diplomacy, but Dems dig in deeper MORE (D-Mass.), if as expected the Senate approves his nomination for secretary of State.

He will be replaced by Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPoll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger Russian attacks on America require bipartisan response from Congress Justice Dept intends to re-try Menendez in corruption case MORE (D-N.J.), who has bucked the White House on Cuba and Iran and called for a tougher stance. The committee loses Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinTo succeed in Syria, Democrats should not resist Trump policy Hannity, Kimmel, Farrow among Time's '100 Most Influential' The Hill's Morning Report: 200 Days to the Election MORE (D-Ill.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.), who opposed the military operation in Libya, in favor of freshmen Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Cybersecurity: Senators want info on 'stingray' surveillance in DC | Bills to secure energy infrastructure advance | GOP lawmaker offers cyber deterrence bill Overnight Health Care: GOP pushes stiff work requirements for food stamps | Johnny Isakson opens up about family's tragic loss to opioids | Republicans refuse to back vulnerable Dem's opioids bill | Dems offer new public option plan Dems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting MORE (D-Conn.) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineHannity snaps back at 'Crybaby' Todd: 'Only conservatives have to disclose relationships?' Chuck Todd lashes out at Fox, defends wife in radio interview Overnight Defense: Trump steps up fight with California over guard deployment | Heitkamp is first Dem to back Pompeo for State | Dems question legality of Syria strikes MORE (D-Va.).

The House panel is also seeing a significant changeover, with Republicans getting 15 new members, 13 of them freshmen.

These include Rep. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP senator: Democratic opposition to Pompeo 'driven 100 percent by politics' Sunday Shows Preview: Emmanuel Macron talks ahead of state dinner Rand Paul under pressure as Pompeo hunts for votes MORE (R-Ark.), a rising conservative star and Army platoon leader who recently reasserted the discredited link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 terror attacks and strenuously opposes Obama's pick for secretary of Defense, Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelShould Mike Pompeo be confirmed? Intel chief: Federal debt poses 'dire threat' to national security Hagel: Trump is 'an embarrassment' MORE.

Another hawk, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), is losing the chairmanship to the more centrist Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) but gains the chairmanship of a newly created subpanel on the Middle East and North Africa.

The other freshmen members are Reps. Matt SalmonMatthew (Matt) James SalmonArizona GOP tinkers with election rules with an eye on McCain's seat Quiet jockeying for McCain seat angers Republicans McSally tells GOP colleagues she'll run for Arizona Senate MORE (R-Ariz.), Paul Cook (R-Calif.), George Holding (R-N.C.), Randy WeberRandall (Randy) Keith WeberHow much collateral damage will there be in the 2018 midterms? 25 House Republicans defy leadership in key spending bill vote Fierce battle erupts over releasing intelligence report MORE (R-Texas), Scott Perry (R-Penn.), Steve StockmanStephen (Steve) Ernest StockmanFormer Texas congressman found guilty of 23 felonies Trump's right — to prevent gun violence, don't disarm our military What Stoneman Douglas activists can learn from Bill Clinton’s assault weapons ban MORE (R-Texas), Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), Trey Radel (R-Fla.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoOvernight Cybersecurity: Senators want info on 'stingray' surveillance in DC | Bills to secure energy infrastructure advance | GOP lawmaker offers cyber deterrence bill Republican lawmaker introduces new cyber deterrence bill GOP lawmakers demand Sessions investigate Clinton, Comey MORE (R-Fla.) and Luke Messer (R-Ind.). Sophomores Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksRepublicans express doubts that Ryan can stay on as Speaker Top GOP lawmakers jockeying to replace Ryan if he steps down: report 25 House Republicans defy leadership in key spending bill vote MORE (R-Ala.) are also joining the committee.

On the Democratic side, the strongly pro-Israel Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) is replacing the defeated Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) as ranking member.

Democrats are gaining 10 new members out of 21, including liberal bomb-thrower Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonPolitiFact cancels Alan Grayson hire after backlash Eighth Franken accuser comes forward as Dems call for resignation Pennsylania Dems file ethics complaint against Rep. Barletta MORE (Fla.). The other newcomers are: Juan Vargas (Calif.), Bradley Schneider (Ill.), Joseph Kennedy (Mass.), Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraCook Political Report moves 9 House races toward Dems Dems float revoking congressional medal for Myanmar leader Week ahead: Defense spending ties up budget talks MORE (Calif.), Alan Lowenthal (Calif.), Grace Meng (N.Y.), Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelMelania Trump wears white pantsuit to State of the Union Democrats planning protests for Trump’s first State of the Union Dems to invite sexual assault survivors as guests to Trump's State of the Union: report MORE (Fla.), Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFormer Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii dies at 93 Congress, leave no H-1Bs behind Top general: Countering Iran in Syria not a US military mission MORE (Hawaii) and Joaquin Castro (Texas).