Senate confirms new Pentagon chief

Senate confirms new Pentagon chief
© Francis Rivera

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Ashton Carter as President Obama’s new secretary of Defense in a 93-5 vote.

Carter, 60, will be the 25th secretary of Defense and Obama's fourth. He is expected to be sworn into office next week.

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Earlier this week, the Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously approved Carter's nomination.

Republicans on the committee were particularly pleased that Carter said he would consider recommending that Obama modify his Afghanistan troop drawdown schedule, if necessary, and that he was inclined to arm Ukraine against Russian aggression.

Carter's nomination was well-received by both Republicans and Democrats, in contrast with outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelInterpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 escapes Afghanistan Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default Pentagon chiefs say debt default could risk national security MORE, whose confirmation fell almost on party lines.

Carter brings a wealth of Pentagon experience to the job, having served in a variety of rules, including as deputy Defense secretary.

"He is one of America’s most experienced defense professionals, respected by Republicans and Democrats alike," Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRedistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want Kelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities MORE (R-Ariz.) said Thursday.

"In these positions, I have known him to be an honest, hard-working and committed public servant," he added.