Panel approves Carter for Defense secretary

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of Ashton Carter's nomination for secretary of Defense.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Anti-gun violence organization endorses Kelly's Senate bid McCain's family, McCain Institute to promote #ActsOfCivility in marking first anniversary of senator's death MORE (R-Ariz.), the panel's chairman, said he hopes Carter would be confirmed by the full Senate soon, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

Carter, a former deputy Defense secretary, faced no opposition to his nomination, unlike current Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelOvernight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces Five takeaways from Pentagon chief's first major trip Esper given horse in Mongolia as US looks for new inroads against China MORE, whose confirmation vote on the committee split along party lines.

In a sign of Carter’s popularity, Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerHillicon Valley: Trump reportedly weighing executive action on alleged tech bias | WH to convene summit on online extremism | Federal agencies banned from buying Huawei equipment | Lawmakers jump start privacy talks The Hill's Morning Report - How will Trump be received in Dayton and El Paso? Lawmakers jump-start talks on privacy bill MORE (R-Miss.) requested a voice vote, so he could go on record as backing his nomination.

Carter testified last week that he was "inclined" toward arming Ukraine and would be open to modifying the drawdown in Afghanistan, if conditions were to worsen there.

If confirmed, Carter would be President Obama's fourth Defense secretary, following Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Hagel.