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Senate panel approves Trump adviser keeping his military rank

Senate panel approves Trump adviser keeping his military rank
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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 McCainColbert mocks Gaetz after Trump denies he asked for a pardon Five reasons why US faces chronic crisis at border Meghan McCain calls on Gaetz to resign MORE (R-Ariz.) told reporters that the committee, which he oversees, had an "overwhelming" vote for McMaster to keep his current rank. 

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"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 KaineOvernight Defense: Congress looks to rein in Biden's war powers | Diversity chief at Special Operations Command reassigned during probe into social media posts Congress looks to rein in Biden's war powers House panel advances bill to repeal 2002 war authorization MORE (D-Va.) told reporters. "Others have very legitimate concerns that they're waiting for an answer."

Sen. Jack ReedJack ReedOn The Money: CDC extends coronavirus eviction ban through June 30 | Biden to detail infrastructure proposal Wednesday | US won't quickly lift Trump tariffs on China Senate panel ties on embattled Pentagon nominee Battle heats up over Pentagon spending plans 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.