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 McCainLessons of the Kamala Harris campaign Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases Top Armed Services Democrat scolds military leaders on Trump's intervention in war crimes cases 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 HagelAlmost 100 former officials, members of Congress urge Senate action on election security GOP Senate candidate said Republicans have 'dual loyalties' to Israel White House aide moves to lobbying firm MORE, whose confirmation vote on the committee split along party lines.

In a sign of Carter’s popularity, Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerThere's a lot to like about the Senate privacy bill, if it's not watered down Trade deal talks expand as Congress debates tech legal shield Hillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware 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.