Senate panel approves Obama's choice for Pentagon chief



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved President Barack Obama's choice of Ashton Carter as the next secretary of defense.

The committee voted 25-0 on Tuesday to support Carter to replace Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who resigned under pressure from the president.

Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he hopes the full Senate will vote to confirm Carter on Wednesday.

The 60-year-old Carter served as the Pentagon's second-ranking official from 2011 to 2013, spent two years previously as the department's technology and weapons-buying chief and was assistant secretary of defense for international security policy during Bill Clinton's administration.

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Deb Riechmann

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