Levin: GOP holding national security 'hostage'

The Senate’s top Democrat on military affairs on Wednesday slammed Republicans on Wednesday for holding national security “hostage” in their attempt to obstruct healthcare reform.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, decried the Republicans’ decision to block a hearing in his committee to protest moving healthcare fixes under special budget rules. Levin said that the Republicans disrupted the schedules of senior commanders who have traveled “thousands of miles from their troops” to provide the Senate with “information on pressing national security topics such as North Korea’s nuclear program, Chinese military capability and the threat of cyber-warfare.”

“It is astounding to me that Republicans have taken a step of such pointless, blind obstructionism,” Levin said in a statement Wednesday. “Our national security should not be held hostage to Republican pique over health care.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the committee's ranking member, supported going ahead with the hearings on Wednesday.