Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified on Capitol Hill today that it was his recommendation that the U.S. not lift its sanctions on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles that were part of the Iran deal.
Senator Kelly Ayotte asked, "I know when you appeared before the committee on July 7th. I was actually the person who asked you about -- there had been floated some views in the press at that time that Iran was pushing for lifting of the resolution on ballistic missiles and the resolution of arms, which we now know are in the agreement at five years and eight years. Just to be clear, when you came before the committee then, you said under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran on those issues. So was it your military recommendation that we not agree to lifting of those sanctions?"
"Yes," said Dempsey, "and I used the phrase as long as possible and then that was the point at which the negotiation continued. But yes, that was my military advice."
In response to a report that the Obama administration may cut U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan to below 10,000, senators Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte, and John McCain have released a statement. Read it below:
We hope a recent press report that the White House is considering a post-2014 force in Afghanistan well below the recommendations of our military commanders is incorrect.
On Thursday, Republican senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Democratic senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri joined with several female veterans of the armed forces to speak out against a proposal that would create a new justice system for serious military prosecutions, independent of military commanders.
Three U.S. senators have identified the missing parts of the response to the Benghazi terror attack. In a statement, Senators Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain list "What We Do Not Know" about Benghazi:
The National Rifle Association has a new ad defending Republican senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire for her vote against the Toomey-Manchin gun control amendment.
"Seen this TV ad paid for by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg? Don't believe it," the voiceover says. "Kelly Ayotte voted for a bipartisan plan to make background checks more effective." Watch the NRA's ad below:
In a joint statement, four lawmakers urge President Obama to treat the Boston bombing suspect picked up last night in Watertown, Mass. as an “enemy combatant.” Here’s the joint statement, signed by Rep. Peter King, Senators Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham:
New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte announces this morning that she will not support the Manchin-Toomey gun bill, which is supposed to be voted on today in the Senate. Instead, Ayotte says, she is supporting "the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act."
Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent thinks that Barack Obama's mandate that private insurers must provide free contraceptive and abortive drugs could split the GOP. But Sargent notes that two northeastern Republican senators, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Scott Brown of Massachusetts, both still firmly support a bill protecting the rights of conscience.
The boss this morning took the stage with Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. Smiling, and in good cheer, the boss noted that he and Ayotte had a “tough act to follow—Vice President Rubio and Secretary of State Pawlenty.”
Four new Republican senators--Marco Rubio (Fla.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), and Pat Toomey (Penn.)--just concluded a trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and senators Richard Burr (N.C.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) were on the trip as well.