McCain: Shaheen not a ‘serious member’ of Armed Services panel

McCain: Shaheen not a ‘serious member’ of Armed Services panel
© Getty Images

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip What does Joe Biden believe about NASA, space exploration and commercial space? The Memo: Activists press Biden on VP choice MORE (R-Ariz.) on Monday slammed Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenThis week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House's proxy voting Open Skies withdrawal throws nuclear treaty into question GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill MORE (D-N.H.), saying that she is not “a serious member” of the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to a local news report.

“I don’t see her at very many of the hearings. I’ve not seen her propose any amendments or proposals that have to do with national security,” McCain said after an event for GOP candidate Scott Brown, the news site NH Journal reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I did work with her on an issue of getting the interpreters from Iraq back to the United States, but aside from that, I have not seen her really active in the committee,” said McCain, who is on a swing tour through the Granite State on Brown's behalf along with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), another member of the powerful Senate panel.

The rebuke comes with Shaheen in a tight race with Brown, a retired Army National Guard colonel and former Massachusetts senator, ahead of Tuesday’s midterms.

Brown has made foreign policy a cornerstone of his campaign against Shaheen, charging that she has been “confused” about the threat posed by terror groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

McCain’s comments are all the more stinging because he is widely expected to get the Armed Services gavel should Republicans take back the upper chamber. 

The five-term Arizona lawmaker, who is up for reelection in 2016, has made no secret about his ambition to take over the committee with its prominent oversight role of the U.S. military

“I would be so happy to be chairman of the Armed Services Committee,” McCain said in February.

Both McCain and Shaheen also serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.