Hagel Confirmed by Committee, Moves to Full Senate Vote
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 19:02
The Senate Armed Services Committee confirmed Georgetown professor and former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to be the next secretary of defense this afternoon, pushing the nomination to a full Senate vote.
The committee passed President Obama’s nomination for the cabinet position 14-11, a vote which was split between party lines with no Republicans choosing to support Hagel. According to CNN, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was among those who opposed the former senator.
"[I cannot] in good conscience support this nomination because ... it is sending the worst possible signal to our friends and our enemies alike," Graham said.
In Hagel’s confirmation hearing Jan. 31, Republicans had already begun to come out in full force against the nominee, questioning him on issues such as Iran, Israel and the troop surge in Afghanistan.
The confirmation now moves to the democrat-controlled Senate, where Hagel is expected to be selected as the new secretary of defense later this week if he can avoid a filibuster, according to the Associated Press. Typically, only a majority vote is needed to pass a confirmation, but should Republicans decide to filibuster, Hagel would need the support of at least 60 senators to become Obama’s newest cabinet member.