The influential House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday announced six new Republicans would be added to the panel’s roster, including an ex-Navy SEAL and a former A-10 pilot.
The new GOP committee members include: Rep. Sam Graves (Mo.); Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.); Steve Knight (Calif.); and Tom MacArthur (N.J.).
Martha McSally (Ariz.), a former A-10 “Warthog” pilot, would be the sixth panel member if she wins a recount against Rep. Ron Barber (D) in one of the closest watched races in the country.
“With the world growing more dangerous and a shrinking military, we have an enormous task ahead of us,” chairman-elect Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said in a statement. “I am very impressed with the qualifications of the new members of the Committee and with their commitment to our national security.”
He added that he looked “forward to working with them and all members of the committee on both sides of the aisle to meet the many challenges we face.”
Some of the picks suggest Thornberry and other Republicans don’t intend to relinquish their party’s edge on national security, an issue the GOP hammered Democrats on prior to their sweep of last month’s midterm elections
Zinke, a former state legislator, served 23 years as a Navy SEAL, and served much of the 1990s as a member of the elite SEAL Team Six.
Before entering politics, Knight served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Friedberg, Germany. He also served as a police officer in Los Angeles for 18 years.