Senate panel approves Trump adviser keeping his military rank

Senate panel approves Trump adviser keeping his military rank
© Getty Images

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted Tuesday to renominate H.R. McMaster to his three-star military rank, setting up a vote in the full Senate.

The committee vote was 23-2, with two senators abstaining.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain endorses Biden: He's only candidate 'who stands up for our values' Biden says Cindy McCain will endorse him Biden's six best bets in 2016 Trump states MORE (R-Ariz.) told reporters that the committee, which he oversees, had an "overwhelming" vote for McMaster to keep his current rank. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"The vote was very overwhelming in favor of approving his status as a three-star general," he said after the committee's closed-door meeting.

President Trump last month named McMaster his national security adviser. 

McMaster does not need confirmation for that position, but the law requires the Senate to reconfirm the ranks of three- and four-star generals when they are assigned new jobs.

McCain noted that McMaster's re-assignment will now go to the full Senate, though he declined to predict when a vote will take place.

"I'm confident it will be approved ,particularly given the overwhelming vote in favor that was just taken in the Armed Services Committee," he added.

He added that McMaster still needs to meet with some Democratic members of the committee. 

"I had one very significant concern, and I got an answer," Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineButtigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice Trump meets with potential Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett at White House Names to watch as Trump picks Ginsburg replacement on Supreme Court MORE (D-Va.) told reporters. "Others have very legitimate concerns that they're waiting for an answer."

Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedWhen 'Buy American' and common sense collide Hillicon Valley: Russia 'amplifying' concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election | Facebook and Twitter take steps to limit Trump remarks on voting | Facebook to block political ads ahead of election Top Democrats press Trump to sanction Russian individuals over 2020 election interference efforts MORE (D-R.I.) said that "very serious" issues would likely be discussed ahead of a full Senate vote but hinted that he expects McMaster will ultimately be reconfirmed to his current rank.

"I think there was a bipartisan vote to support him [in the committee]," he said, when asked if he thought the Senate would approve him.