ThinkProgress has learned from Hill sources that newly elected Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) will be added to the Senate Armed Services Committee, a position he was “pushing hard” for. The assignment will give Brown, a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard, a “boost” since the committee has jurisdiction over national security spending. The late senator Ted Kennedy, whose seat Brown has filled, was also on the committee.
Additionally, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) will be added to the committee, to maintain the Democratic-Republican ratio.
A major question for Brown is how he will come down on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), one of the top issues facing the committee. In a January interview with ABC News, Brown said that he still hadn’t taken a position on whether to repeal the policy:
BROWN: I think it’s important, because as you know we’re fighting two wars right now. And the most — the first priority is to — is to — is to finish the job, and win those wars. I’d like to hear from the generals in the field — in the field — the people that actually work with these soldiers to make sure that, you know, the social change is not going to disrupt our ability to finish the job and complete the wars. [...]
WALTERS: So you can’t say whether you’re for or against it?
BROWN: No. I’m going to wait to speak to the generals on the ground.
Bingaman voted against the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military when it came up in 1993.
The Senate Armed Services Committee wouldn’t confirm the appointments to ThinkProgress since an official release has not yet gone out. The staff member also wouldn’t say when that would be happening.