McCain Won't Block Dempsey Nomination

July 23, 2013

Arizona Senator John McCain is changing course and said he is dropping his threat to block the nomination of President Obama’s pick for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After a hearing last week, McCain said he would block Gen. Martin Dempsey’s nomination for a second term in the job. McCain said he was not satisfied with Dempsey’s responses to questions about the potential use of American force in Syria.

On Tuesday, McCain called Dempsey’s evaluation, outlined in a letter to Michigan Senator Carl Levin “most disappointing.” Dempsey wrote establishing a no-fly zone to protect Syrian rebels would require hundreds of U.S. aircraft at a cost of as much as $1 billion per month, with no assurance it would change the momentum in Syria's civil war. But, McCain said he will not stop Dempsey's nomination, because the president has the right to choose the team around him.

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