Levin hopes Senate will approve Defense nominees ‘fairly quickly’

Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinStrange bedfellows oppose the filibuster Listen, learn and lead: Congressional newcomers should leave the extremist tactics at home House Democrats poised to set a dangerous precedent with president’s tax returns MORE (D-Mich.), the retiring chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Tuesday that he expects the upper chamber to confirm thousands of Defense Department nominees before the 113th Congress adjourns.

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“All of the ones we just voted out will be confirmed, I’m hoping. So far, we’ve never had a problem with Defense nominees. So I don’t foresee any problems here,” Levin told reporters.

The panel voted last week to favorably report out 3,579 pending military nominations, including a new U.S. Pacific Command chief, two assistant Defense secretaries and a new general counsel to the Army, according to a committee statement.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAmerica's newest comedy troupe: House GOP Michelle Malkin knocks Cokie Roberts shortly after her death: 'One of the first guilty culprits of fake news' Arizona Democratic Party will hold vote to censure Sinema MORE (R-Ariz.), the incoming chairman of the panel, and other committee members briefly held up the top-tier civilian picks over the nomination of Elissa Slotkin to be assistant Defense secretary for international security affairs.

McCain had publicly labeled Slotkin as “totally unqualified” for the post.

The panel dropped her nomination last week, but McCain said he would consider Slotkin if she was nominated in the next Congress.

Levin said he wasn’t sure if the nominations would be the last matter the Senate votes on before leaving for the year.

“Not necessarily, because I think we’re going to be around for a few days,” he predicted. “I hope that since we approved the Defense nominees … I would hope that those could get done fairly quickly.”

Levin could not say if the picks would be approved via unanimous consent.