McCain 'leaning against' voting for Trump's Budget pick
© Greg Nash

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDOJ: Arizona recount could violate civil rights laws Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women Conservative Club for Growth PAC comes out against Stefanik to replace Cheney MORE (R-Ariz.) signaled Tuesday that he could vote against Rep. Mick Mulvaney to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

The Armed Services Committee chairman told reporters in the Capitol that he is "leaning against" voting for the South Carolina congressman because of his views on defense spending.


McCain's potential defection will give Mulvaney no room for error to clear the upper chamber. Under a 2013 decision, he'll need a simple majority and Republicans have 52 seats.

McCain opened the door earlier this year to voting against Trump's pick to lead the budget office.

"I’m very, very worried that he will continue his efforts to slash the military, which has been cut by 21 percent in the last eight years. I don’t think any of us believe that we’re 21 percent safer," he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" in late January.

The move has earned him criticism from conservatives. FreedomWorks announced after McCain publicly grilled Mulvaney that it would launch an ad campaign targeting the Arizona senator.

The Senate is poised to take an initial vote on Mulvaney on Wednesday.

Under Senate rules Democrats could drag out debate time and delay a final vote until Thursday afternoon.