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McCain expects Defense nominee Carter to be confirmed next week

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain planning 'intimate memoir' of life with John McCain Trump-McConnell rift divides GOP donors Arkansas state senator says he's leaving Republican Party MORE (R-Ariz.) is planning for Ash Carter to be confirmed as the new Defense secretary by the end of next week.

“I hope we can get Carter done – hopefully – by Tuesday,” he told reporters on Thursday about the panel vote.

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If, as expected, the panel approves Carter's nomination, it would be “expedited” to the full Senate for a vote on either Wednesday or Thursday, McCain added.

Carter sailed through his nearly seven-hour confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

The former Pentagon official was grilled on a range of topics, including the administration’s strategy for defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), providing weapons to Ukraine and the troop drawdown in Afghanistan.

Carter is expected to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy Hagel15 former Defense officials back waiver for Austin to serve as Defense secretary The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history John Kirby to reprise role as Pentagon press secretary under Biden MORE.

At one point during her questioning on Wednesday, Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteOvernight Defense: NATO expanding troops in Iraq Overnight Defense: New START extended for five years | Austin orders 'stand down' to tackle extremism | Panel recommends Biden delay Afghanistan withdrawal Study group recommends Biden delay Afghanistan withdrawal MORE (R-N.H.), a close McCain ally, slipped up and addressed him as “Secretary Carter.”

She quickly corrected herself: “Soon-to-be Secretary.”