McCain deep-sixes Defense nominee

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden's six best bets in 2016 Trump states Replacing Justice Ginsburg could depend on Arizona's next senator The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy MORE (R-Ariz.), incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sank the confirmation of a Defense Department official on Monday, calling her "unqualified." 

The panel was scheduled, during a hearing Tuesday, to consider the nomination of Elissa Slotkin as assistant defense secretary for international security affairs, as well as other Defense nominees. 

Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinMichigan to pay 0M to victims of Flint water crisis Unintended consequences of killing the filibuster Inspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 MORE (D-Mich.), the current chairman of the committee, said the hearing was canceled after the committee decided to move forward with the other appointees, but hold off on Slotkin.  

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McCain told reporters last week that he had placed a hold on her nomination, as well as that of Antony Blinken as deputy secretary of state, because both were "totally unqualified."  

He said others on the committee also opposed her nomination as well, but did not say who. 

Both senators said it would be next year before she would be considered again.  

"Obviously it can’t happen this Congress, so if they want to renominate her they would," Levin said. Congress is scheduled to recess by the end of this week.  

McCain said he would be willing to consider her nomination next year if she is renominated for the position, but currently, he opposed her confirmation.  

She has been "totally non-responsive" in answering questions he had. "We have submitted questions to her, we haven’t received answers," he said. 

Martin Matishak contributed.