Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday threatened to block votes on President Barack Obama’s nominees for CIA director and defense secretary until the administration gives more information about the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Graham and other Republican lawmakers have questioned Obama’s response to the Sept. 11, 2012, incident in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed.
On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Graham said he would invoke senatorial privilege to put a hold on votes on the nominee for CIA director, John Brennan, and on defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel until the White House gives more information.
“I don’t think we should allow Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship, Hagel to be confirmed for secretary of defense, until the White House gives us an accounting,” Graham said. “What did the president do?”
Republican Senator John McCain said on “Fox News Sunday” he was leaning against voting for Hagel, who like McCain is a Vietnam War veteran. In a nomination hearing last month, McCain had aggressively questioned Hagel about his opposition to the U.S. troop surge in Iraq during the George W. Bush administration.
McCain said, however, he would not support procedural moves, such as a filibuster, that would block the Hagel nomination.
Democrats have said they do not believe procedural efforts to block a vote on Hagel in the Senate will be successful. They also are confident they will have enough votes to get Hagel approved.
Republicans have accused the Obama administration of misleading the country about whether the attack stemmed from a protest or if it was a planned terrorist attack. They have asked the White House to explain the mixed messages that the administration gave in the days following the Benghazi attacks.