State recruits centrist Republican in support of Obama's arms control experts

Isakson said concerns about Obama administration policies were justified but that Obama's nominees were a different issue. In addition to Gottemoeller, the panel is considering the nominations of Frank Rose to be assistant secretary of State for arms control, verification and compliance; and of Adam Scheinman to serve as Obama's special representative for nuclear nonproliferation.

“The administration's policy is totally something else,” Isakson said.

Menendez urged Republicans to clear the nominees quickly at a time of rising threats.

“What I would say to members of the committee is that – at the end of the day – we may disagree on verification and compliance procedures, but we cannot disagree on the significance of the threats we face and the need to have a team in place tasked with representing our security interests at the highest levels,” he said in his opening remarks. “This is not the time to say 'no' to confirming qualified, experienced non-proliferation experts when so much is at stake in Syria, Iran, North Korea, and in negotiations with Russia – not when we imagine the consequences of the spread of these weapons.”

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Trump bets base will stick with him on immigration MORE (R-Fla.) pressed Gottemoeller during the hearing to rule out any further reductions outside a formal treaty, but she would not get pinned down, saying only that unilateral cuts are “not on the table.” And Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoDems force 'Medicare for All' on Americans but exempt themselves GOP sees fresh opening with Dems’ single payer embrace Overnight Health Care: CBO predicts 15 percent ObamaCare premium hike | Trump calls Sanders single-payer plan ‘curse on the US’ | Republican seeks score of Sanders’s bill MORE (R-Wyo.) pressed Gottemoeller on whether she supported Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryBringing the American election experience to Democratic Republic of the Congo Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020 The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE's decision to sign the NRA-opposed arms trade treaty Wednesday at the U.N.

“We were all very keen to see the treaty signed,” she said, adding that it had “nothing to do with our own domestic arrangements” but only affects weapons exports.

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