Chuck Hagel Confirmation Vote Set for Tuesday

Some Republicans Vow To Block Pentagon Pick

getty images

By Reuters

Published February 11, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A Senate panel plans to vote on Tuesday afternoon on the bitterly contested nomination of Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama’s new secretary of defense, the committee said on Monday.

Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which must approve Hagel’s nomination as Pentagon chief before a vote by the full Senate, intends to ask the committee to vote in an open meeting at 2:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT).

Hagel, 66, a Republican and former Nebraska senator, has been the target of harsh criticism from senators in his own party, who raised questions over whether he is sufficiently supportive of Israel and tough on Iran.

Hagel’s testimony before the committee during his Jan. 31 confirmation hearing has also been criticized. Even some Democrats have said he appeared unprepared and at times hesitant during aggressive questioning by Republican panel members.

Levin intends to have the committee vote on Hagel’s nomination after its members discuss it.

Hagel’s backers are still convinced he will succeed the retiring Leon Panetta at the Defense Department and have called Republican delays and threats to prevent the vote on his nomination political posturing.

The Democrats have 14 votes on the armed services panel, to 12 for the Republicans, and Hagel needs only a simple majority to be cleared by the committee for a vote by the full senate, where the Democratic caucus outnumbers Republicans, 55-45.

No Democrat has come out against Hagel, and at least two Republicans - Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Mike Johanns, who holds Hagel’s old Senate seat - have said they will vote for him.

A few other Republicans have said they would not support the use of any procedural mechanism that would force the Democrats to round up 60 votes to confirm Hagel.

Levin had hoped to have the committee vote on Hagel’s confirmation last week, but delayed amid Republican demands for more information on issues including Hagel’s business dealings and past speeches.

Levin has characterized some of the requests as an attempt to set a new standard for a cabinet nominee.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who has been among the most vocal Hagel opponents, on Sunday threatened to block a vote on his confirmation until the Obama administration provides more information about the deadly September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Graham had previously threatened to block the vote if Panetta did not appear before the committee to discuss Benghazi.

Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the committee in a four-hour hearing on Thursday, but Graham said he was still not satisfied.

Graham and some other Republican lawmakers have questioned Obama’s response to the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi incident in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.