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Blumenthal Votes Against Decorated Ret. Gen. James Mattis

January 12, 2017 By Staff
Blumenthal Votes Against Decorated Ret. Gen. James Mattis

Many believe the appointment of Ret. Gen. James Mattis shouldn’t be held back by politics, given his qualifications and bipartisan support. Blumenthal, it appears, disagreed.

Today, Ret. Gen. James Mattis testified for hours before the Senate Armed Services Committee at his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Defense.

Of the 27-member committee, only three senators voted against a waiver for Mattis’ appointment. These Democratic senators, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), opposed Mattis, despite the fact that many senators believe he is qualified for the role:

All Republicans and most Democrats voted in favor of the waiver except Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut and Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts. Gillibrand and Warren could be possible 2020 presidential contenders.

It’s no secret that Connecticut benefits from Washington’s defense spending. Blumenthal himself has made a passionate defense of, most recently, the over-budget and delayed F-35 program:

The mere suggestion that production should be slowed or stopped threatens to create confusion and uncertainty among the manufacturers and their supply chain. There are more than 75 hardworking and dedicated businesses in Connecticut — and more than 1,250 suppliers across the country — that need to plan production and hire and train new workers now.

Defense projects like that F-35 keep Connecticut’s workers employed and have been an economic bright spot in an otherwise-slow state economy.

On Mattis, though, one opinion write recently wrote, in Business Insider:

But in the case of this nominee, he is more than qualified for the position, having served 44 years in the Marine Corps, where he last retired as the head of the military’s Central Command in Tampa, Florida.

Many senators, including the 10 Democrats who voted in favor of a waiver for Mattis, could argue the appointment of Mattis shouldn’t be held back by politics, given his qualifications and bipartisan support. Blumenthal, it appears, disagreed.