Rep. Duncan Hunter and a group of six House lawmakers from Tennessee on Wednesday urged the Senate to approve President Trump's embattled pick for Army secretary.
Hunter, who has a history of speaking out for controversial military figures, joined with lawmakers from Mark Green's home state and other conservatives to back the nomination amid reports Green may withdraw as soon as this week due to rising opposition over his past comments.
A total of 11 House lawmakers wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, according to a copy obtained by the Washington Examiner. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., helped spearhead the letter, Hunter's staff said.
"Any attempt to politicize personal statements or views that have been expressed by Mark at any point throughout his career must not be allowed to supersede his qualifications or be conflated to create needless uncertainty with his nomination," they wrote in the letter.
Green, a Tennessee state legislator and former Army flight surgeon, is drawing fire from House Democrats and an array of liberal advocacy groups for public comments he made over the past few years about his opposition to gay marriage, transgender bathroom rights, and teaching Islam in public schools.
McCain said this week he too has concerns about Green's comments. If Green withdraws, he would be the second for Army secretary — and the third service secretary pick overall — to take himself out of contention.