The Republican sweep in Tuesday’s election will bring significant changes in the makeup of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. SASC Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, the longest serving senator in Michigan history, is retiring and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is largely expected to take the helm as committee chair. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), chairwoman of the emerging threats panel, was ousted by Republican Thom Tillis in the year’s most expensive congressional race, reported CBS News. SASC’s strategic forces subcommittee Chair Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) also lost his seat. Five SASC members up for re-election won their races, including SASC ranking member Rep. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) also held on to their seats. At least eight Democratic members of HASC won’t return, including Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Rep. Mike McIntyre, chair of the seapower and projection forces panel, both of whom decided to retire. The race between Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) and Republican candidate, retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally—the first female USAF pilot to fly a combat aircraft in enemy territory—was still too close to call Wednesday evening.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.