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PHOTO QUIZ: What is John McCain doing here?

If you guessed A. Listening to an update on the Ukraine crisis, you're correct! Congratulations! The U.S. Senator from Arizona is not shy about showing his expressions, and with cameras around him nearly all the time, there are many great photos that have captured the wide spectrum of McCain emotions. Click through the slideshow above and enjoy his many faces. Below, read the Associated Press story on what McCain was doing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's military leaders told Congress Tuesday that they have raided every other pot of money they have in order to cut spending, and lawmakers must now slow the growth of personnel pay and benefits - a tricky proposition for Congress.

In a rare combined appearance on Capitol Hill, the military chiefs said their forces worry more about not having the best training and equipment. And they said that the skyrocketing personnel costs are forcing them to cut the number of troops they have, and erode their ability to maintain forces ready for combat and provide necessary, modernized equipment.

Congress is debating the proposed $496 billion defense budget this week and military pay is one of many sensitive issues within that bill.

"There's nothing left under the mattress," Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added that the uncertainty of the budget cuts is a greater cause of stress to the troops than what would be a longer-range plan to slow pay increases. The Pentagon has proposed a 1 percent pay hike this year, rather than a 1.8 percent increase.

Senators expressed reservations about slowing the increase in pay rates, and pressed the chiefs on other ways to trim spending. Several continued their opposition to the Pentagon's efforts to cut the A-10 aircraft, which provides close air support for combat troops.

The proposed retirement of the A-10 Thunderbolts has been a particular flash point for some senators, including those whose states house bases that are home to the aircraft.

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona has been vocal in his opposition to the retirement insisting that the aircraft can better defend ground troops and that U.S. forces are more comfortable with that aircraft overhead than the F-16 jet fighters and B-1 bombers that the Pentagon has suggested could be used instead of the A-10s.

Army Gen. Ray Odierno acknowledged that soldiers believe in the A-10, which roars overhead where they can easily see and hear it -- unlike the higher-flying F-16s.

But Dempsey and others said the F-16s have been providing more close-air support on the battlefront than the A-10. Dempsey summed up the bottom line saying the Air Force will save $3.5 billion over the five-year defense plan by retiring the aging aircraft, and would have to find that money elsewhere if Congress refuses to go along with the plan.

Lawmakers and the chiefs found some potential agreement on one proposal that would allow commissaries to sell generic drugs.

Navy Adm. James Winnefeld, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was able to buy a bottle of generic ibuprofen for about $4.99 at the military exchange on base. But he said the commissaries on the bases can't carry the generic so they are forced to stock the more expensive name brands, which he said would have cost him $7.98. He said the commissaries are prohibited by law from carrying generics and would need Congress to change that.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, said he doesn't think the ban on generic drugs is required by law, but said committee will look into that issue.

The Pentagon has proposed reducing the subsidy for the commissaries by about $200 million, which could increase prices and cut into the 30 percent savings that officials say troops see by shopping there. Military leaders said the commissaries should be forced to find efficiencies just like the rest of the department has done.

Join the discussion

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bronxiealpha1 May 07 2014 at 12:02 AM

Leave the military alone. We need our military, they are who keep this country free. It's the fatcats in office you need to cut!! With their hefty pay, the medical coverage and a lot more that is not known..

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2 replies
cact25 bronxiealpha1 May 07 2014 at 1:06 AM

Congress should be forced into ACA coverage and lose their Cadillac coverage that we pay for.

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smashingmonkey bronxiealpha1 May 07 2014 at 9:04 AM

A strong military is important. But we spend way too much on it. We spend approximately as much on our military as the rest of the world combined spends on military.

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Linda May 06 2014 at 11:03 PM

Can't stand the man.

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2 replies
blkgld001 Linda May 06 2014 at 11:22 PM

i know. its hard to like someone who was a POW in Vietnam and offered early release because his dad had pull as an Admiral but said no and then he was tortured for 2 years......Kinda hard to like a guy with those kind of ethics.....

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jeff Linda May 06 2014 at 11:45 PM

Oh! You know him personally huh? Take your peace sign and shove it numbskull.

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Franco May 06 2014 at 11:01 PM

Who's the good lookin babe behind him? :O)

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superservicerep May 06 2014 at 11:00 PM

what a creepy old man

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2 replies
poppaspond superservicerep May 06 2014 at 11:25 PM

What you call a creepy old man is a Patriot, you piece of dung.

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jeff superservicerep May 06 2014 at 11:53 PM

That's an American hero azzwipe.

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1 reply
sboore47 jeff May 07 2014 at 12:37 AM

Not so much as you have been told.

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heh1111 May 06 2014 at 10:59 PM

here's a thought, pay the troops at the bottom, you know, the ones who actually do the fighting and stop wasting billions of dollars on cost overuns,delays, extensions and paying for general stupidity by defense contractors? just one example, the next generation fighter plane went over budget by billions and is seven years behind schedule. another thought, stop allowing retired generals to get highly paid defense contactor jobs the day after they retire for the sole purpose of using their connections to keep the wasted money train rolling. the united states has enough nuke power to destroy the entire world seventy five times, how much money would we save in maintainence, staffing, security etc. if we cut back to only being able to toast the world fifty times?

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1 reply
frisco9312 heh1111 May 06 2014 at 11:10 PM

why that's just crazy talk!!!!

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1 reply
frisco9312 frisco9312 May 06 2014 at 11:10 PM


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xanadutu May 06 2014 at 10:59 PM

Here we go again!!! The military doesn't want or need 5 Million Dollar Tanks, but the pos GOP keep making them anyway!! I'm sure the tanks are in some suthern desert never to be used!!

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American Pension May 06 2014 at 10:58 PM

"Retiring the A-10 ?" Too bad so many congressmen never served in the military.
That Plane, and those pilots, save the lives of so many ground troups. Unlike the supersonic jet fighters that I flew, those A-10s can come in low and slow, eyeball the enemy, and obliterate them with multiple passes. We owe it to the ground troups to keep them flying. Nothing says "I love you guys on the gound" like a Flying Gattling Gun that goes by the name: A-10.


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1 reply
cact25 American Pension May 07 2014 at 1:20 AM

AMEN. I want to see somf F-16 at 50 feet strafing while being shot and hit.

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fernandezarthr May 06 2014 at 10:57 PM

.......After the Benghazi Special Commity Investigation is Finish,.....I can assure you, they wont have that smile in their faces!!!!,...........jajajajajajajajaja.............

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1 reply
hf2hvit fernandezarthr May 06 2014 at 11:22 PM

Well, I guess you "Finish" that bottle of cheap gin because you had to be drunk when you wrote that. Just say you were..it gives you an excuse.

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RONNIE May 06 2014 at 10:54 PM

Someone said to him , that Ovomit was going to try to buy another election, and change the rules so he could remain dictator ,,I mean loser-n chief ,for another 10 years.!!!

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1 reply
joe RONNIE May 06 2014 at 11:06 PM

So ignorant of you.....and stupid!!!

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cigarpal May 06 2014 at 10:51 PM

A wet fart.

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