SASC Committee Chairs Shuffle Under McCain

With the 114th Congress under way and Republicans in charge of the Senate, leadership slots on the Senate Armed Services Committee’s various panels have changed under SASC Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Ranking Member Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.). Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) is now the ranking member of the AirLand subcommittee, which oversees tactical air matters across the services, with the gavel going to Sen. Tom. Cotton (R-Ark.) a newly elected senator and former Army infantry officer. The Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee is now chaired by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) with Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) serving as ranking member. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) chairs the Personnel subcommittee with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) serving as ranking member; and frequent McCain ally Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) chairs the Readiness and Management Support subcommittee, with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) now the ranking member. The Seapower panel has new leadership with McCain and Reed’s accession. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) now chairs the panel and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) serving as the ranking member. Strategic Forces’ former chairman Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) lost his bid for re-election, and with the new Congress the former ranking member, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), has taken over the gavel. McCain said he hopes the panel continues its bipartisan tradition of giving service members the “authorities, leadership, training, equipment, and resources needed to successfully achieve their missions on our nation’s behalf.”