GOP senator predicts unanimous vote for Joint Chiefs nominee

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) predicts the Senate will vote unanimously to confirm President Obama’s pick to be the nation’s next top military officer.

On Thursday, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford sailed through his hours-long confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“I think he’s going to do a fine job. I think he’s going to have a unanimous confirmation in the Senate,” Ernst, a member of the Armed Services panel, told Radio Iowa. “I admire him greatly and respect his service.”

Dunford, presently the commandant of the Marine Corps, would replace Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, who is retiring.

Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainClimate change is a GOP issue, too It's Joe Biden's 2020 presidential nomination to lose Meghan McCain on Pelosi-Trump feud: 'Put this crap aside' and 'work together for America' MORE (R-Ariz.) has told reporters that he plans to move Dunford’s nomination through the panel quickly and hopes to get it on the Senate floor before the end of next week.

Ernst lauded Dunford’s military record. 

“He has been a service chief for a number of years. I have met with him on many occasions,” according to Ernst, the first female combat veteran ever elected to the Senate.

“We have discussed action all around the globe including what we see going on in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, of course the tension between Russia and Ukraine,” she added.

During his confirmation hearing, Dunford said Russia “presents the greatest threat to our national security.”

He also voiced support for giving arms to Ukraine’s armed forces to help ward off continued military aggression from Moscow.