Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit Biden taps former Indiana Sen. Donnelly as ambassador to Vatican Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights MORE (D-Ind.), a centrist Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, will oppose Army secretary nominee Mark Green, he announced Thursday.
“While I respect Dr. Green’s service to our country in the Armed Forces, I will oppose his nomination to be Secretary of the Army,” Donnelly said in a statement.
Green’s nomination has drawn fierce opposition over past comments and his Tennessee state Senate record on topics including LGBT people, Islam and Latinos.
He’s said that “transgender is a disease” and agreed with a questioner who said “we need to take a stand on the indoctrination of Islam in our public schools,” among other controversial statements.
In announcing his opposition, Donnelly said that the military needs to attract people of all backgrounds, and he’s not confident Green can lead a diverse Army.
“Now more than ever, we need our nation’s best and brightest to serve as soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines — regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation,” Donnelly said. “I am not confident that Dr. Green is capable of leading today’s diverse Army and maintaining it as the most sophisticated and powerful ground force the world has ever known.”
The Armed Services Committee is split 14 Republicans to 13 Democrats, leaving little room for error if Green hopes to make it past the panel.
Republicans could approve Green on their own, but there are signs GOP members are concerned about the nomination as well.
Armed Services Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate confirms four Biden ambassadors after delay Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' Grant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 MORE (R-Ariz.) called Green’s comments “very concerning” this week and said he’s heard from both Republicans and Democrats on the committee who feel the same way.