PHOTO QUIZ: What is John McCain doing here?
US Republican Senator from Arizona John McCain grimaces at a member of the audience during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the situation in Ukraine on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 6, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM
US Republican Senator from Arizona John McCain looks on during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the situation in Ukraine on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 6, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo provided by CBS News, on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks on CBS' "Face the Nation" in Washington about the partial federal government shutdown. (AP Photo/CBS News, Chris Usher)
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reacts to students of the Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) as he arrives at the Tokyo American Center in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. McCain on Wednesday called on US officials to use their influence over Egypt, as members of Congress remain spilt over whether to cut off military aid to the country. (AP Photo/Franck Robichon, Pool)
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, talks with Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., as they leave a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. President Barack Obama is making plans to talk with Republican lawmakers at the White House in the coming days as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. smiles on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, during the committee's hearing to consider the authorization for use of military force in Syria. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reacts as a lightning hit a nearby building while answering to questions from students of the Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) at the Tokyo American Center in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. McCain on Wednesday called on US officials to use their influence over Egypt, as members of Congress remain spilt over whether to cut off military aid to the country. (AP Photo/Franck Robichon, Pool)
Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reacts after the committee voted to accept his amendment as they consider the authorization for use of military force in Syria during a business meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks at a town hall event, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
US Senator John McCain takes picture during a mass rally of the opposition Independence Square in Kiev on December 15, 2013. McCain told more than 200,000 EU supporters rallying in Kiev on Sunday that Washington backed their desire for European integration. 'To all Ukraine, America stands with you,' he called out to the cheering crowd. 'The free world is with you, America is with you, I am with you... Ukraine will make Europe better and Europe will make Ukraine better.' AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
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.
By LOLITA C. BALDOR
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.